Last weekend ( i.e. last week's weekend. Even though I am working, it is sunday after all) I had a bunch of friends come over to attend a conference in Doha, titled "Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow" or MLT for short (Insert sandwich joke here). I, naturally, was not invited, but crashed the party anyway, because of the number of people I knew attending said conference, which some did out of belief that something positive could come out of it, some for the media spotlight, and others because they wanted to come see yours truly. The conference itself was actually funny because they gatherd an unusual amount of international freaks that made you really worry about The future of Islam if those were its leaders of tomorrow. The most telling moment was when this young French Canadian Salafist (Yes, ponder the combination for a second, and ask yourself: Is that what Satan shits or what?) at the very begining of the conference raised his hand to speak, and stating that he is glad to have met Islam before he met muslims, because of what he sees in the conference from "intermingeling of the sexes" to "greetings using kisses" and finally to "Open aclohol drinking". I wanted to raise my hand to ask him where the "Kissing and drinking" section was so that I could go sit there, but Mona Al Tahawy was faster than me and ripped the poor guy a new asshole very very quickly. It was actually beautiful. (In an unrelated note, when I was telling a friend who works for Al Jazeera about how strange I found the combination of a French-canadian AND a salafist to be, he responded by saying "Oh, they are the worst kind. I have one in accounting and he is a total prick". So world, pay attention, there are apparently many french-canadian salafists running around. You have been warned!)
Anyway, the days passed and-with the exception of few minor incidents of sabotage conducted by yours truly- it was actually a very pleasant conference with some cool people in it. After a discussion with group of guys over the need for "a Fatwa-issuing religious authority" in Islam, where one pimply-faced turk who couldn't be more than 18 years old said "Well, when you are sick, don't you go to a doctor for the remedy? It's the same thing!", I decided to avoid the men all together and hung out with the islamic sisters, a.k.a the Satanic-tempting-whores by french-canadian boy. It was a very enlightning experience, if not for confirming my suspicions that the main problem with Islam is that Men are its religious leaders. The horror stories those women told me about how their work (much of which is very respctable and with aim to improve living conditions and literacy rate amongst their native population) was always undermined and thwarted by a bunch of idiotic chauvinistic mullahs who had no problem issuing life-destorying fatwas at time just because they didn't like to see a woman read (and the stories are all the same, from Bahrain, to Iran, to Denmark, to Kashmir to Indonesia and Pakistan). It became abundently clear that what Islam needs, more than anything, is more Female influence and eventually more female leadership. At least they were more interested in moving the religion forward and elevating its people, than debating the remedic values of Camel piss or if women should pluck their eyebrows. But what do I know?
The Punchline for the entire conference though came 2 days after it ended. You see, one evening a friend asked me to come to her table to start talking to this american guest called Daniel Pincus, who happend to be jewish. Apparently the other guests were ignoring him and he was very uncomfortable being the lone jew there in case a "Ghaza" conversation did start up. So I went there and chatted with him a bit, but he seemed to be doing fine and Azhar Usman started his stand up routine, so I ignored him and life went on. It wasn't until a few days later when I recieved an e-mail from one of the people who was at that table regarding this piece of news: An American fellow who was coming back to the US from a flight from Turket, flipped out on the airline because "some arab types" whose looks freaked him out boarded the plane. The name of the idiot?