So I sat there, biding my time. Studying my captors, and working on the beginnings of a plan for after we landed. Fullmetals in general are nothing to sneeze at, and I especially didn’t fancy my odds of beating these ones in a fair fight.
They were matte black, all sharp angles, like stealth bombers in the shape of men. Some of the edges in their chassis were lined with red EL wire that glowed, gently pulsating, seemingly only for intimidation purposes. It was working.
No matter how I came at the problem, I couldn’t imagine a plan of action that ended well for me. Or Dad, for that matter. There was no use agonizing while I could do nothing about it, but I couldn’t help myself. More than any other point in my life, I now felt like a cornered animal.
My abductor seemed comfortable enough that he’d holstered his pistol and was watching some sort of talkshow on the craft’s ceiling mounted infotainment console. The flip down display depicted a panel type debate between a Sunni Imam, a Catholic priest, and a notable feminist author.
“For those just joining us, today’s discussion topic is whether or not the ban on Muslims traveling to orbit via the recently completed space elevator is constitutional. I’ll let Sarah Maxwell, author of “The male problem”, open things up. Sarah?”
The only woman on the panel, sharply dressed in a dark grey business suit and horn rimmed glasses, wasted no time framing the discussion as she saw fit. “Of course it’s unconstitutional. It’s racist. There’s no such thing as opposition to Islam which isn’t simply veiled racism.”
The priest now interjected. “Hold on a minute. That’s not fair. Aren’t you opposed to Catholicism, and in fact any sort of Christianity?” She affirmed it, so he continued. “Does that make you racist? Why is it racist to oppose Islam, but not Christianity? Do you not understand why Islam is heretical and worth opposing on theological grounds, or can’t you put yourself in my shoes? Can you at least see why atheists might oppose Islam for the same reasons they oppose any other religion?”
She rolled her eyes. “Muslims are a minority group. Historically speaking, opposition to minority groups has always come from a place of xenophobic sentiment.” The priest pointed out that globally, Muslims outnumber Christians, which failed to move her.
“My opposition to Christianity has nothing to do with race. It has everything to do with Christianity’s history of homophobia and misogyny.” The priest then asked her why she did not oppose Islam even more strongly for the same reasons, given that it’s even more severely homophobic and misogynistic than any modern denomination of Christianity.
“What you have to understand” she explained, “is that as white Westerners, we cannot stand in judgement of a foreign culture. They have their own separate world, essentially, which we are outsiders to. Are we still in the business of imposing our values? Would you have us be cultural imperialists?”
The priest scoffed. “It sounds like what you’re saying is that Islamic homophobia and misogyny are “cultural” and therefore acceptable, but the Christian equivalent isn’t, even though it’s much less severe. Pardon me if I don’t consider that a good reason for such an overt double standard.”
She assured him that she didn’t much care whether he agreed. She then asked why he was so opposed to Islam himself, when Islam’s stance on women’s rights, gay marriage, abortion, and just about every other social issue lined up near perfectly with Catholic values.
“That’s a misrepresentation” the priest defensively stated. She challenged him to explain how. “It’s just different. Apples and oranges. When Muslims do those things, they intend to oppress. Catholics are simply following God’s law as revealed through his son, Jesus Christ.”
It was her turn to scoff. “Muslims would say they’re simply following God’s law as revealed through the prophet Muhammad.” The priest was not impressed. “Yes, but they’re lying. Muhammad was no prophet. Do you know how heavily derivative the Qur’an is of the New Testament?”
She asked whether Jews would say the same of the New Testament, in relation to the Torah. “It doesn’t matter what they would say” the priest answered. “They’re in the wrong religion, like Muslims. Only the Christian perspective, and specifically the Catholic perspective is of any importance here, because only that perspective is correct.”
She smiled. “Similarity breeds contempt, doesn’t it.” The priest, now visibly irritated, insisted that there were no such similarities between Catholicism and Islam. That Catholicism is God’s true church on Earth and Islam is just an overgrown desert cult, such that no valid comparisons could be made.
The host then broke in to steer discussion back to the original topic, the space elevator travel ban. They looked sheepish and began discussing the logistics that would go into screening individual Muslim travelers.
“It’s discriminatory to screen them at all. At least any moreso than the average passenger headed to orbit. But then if they increase security level across the board just so nobody accuses them of profiling, it’s still ultimately motivated by prejudice.”
The Imam nodded thoughtfully. “The American whore makes some excellent points. Indeed prejudice against my brothers and sisters is widespread, and wholly unfounded. The constant so-called terror attacks, if you were to properly investigate them, have all actually been the work of Mossad. But American lap dogs will never side against their Jewish masters.”
Sarah looked stunned. The Priest glared at her, smugly. “Wh-what he means to say-” she started, before the Imam spoke over her. “Do not presume to speak for me. Is this not a safe space for a person of color’s voice to be heard?” She looked bashfully into her lap. “It…it is…”
He laughed. “Very well then! Be heard I will. The Muslim world has endured very patiently and gracefully the long wait for you Westerners to realize that Islam is the true faith. What else can you ask of us? Do you not arguably deserve violence for failing to embrace the one true faith?”
The priest furiously interrupted here. “Is that what tolerance means to you? Coexisting only as a temporary measure, expecting that we will someday convert?” The Imam appeared mystified by the implication that it could mean anything other than that.
“The point is”, the Imam concluded, “that Muslims are the only truly moral and upright people in this world. It’s an outrage that the Western media continues to cast aspersions on us, and on the good name of Islam by extension, by credulously reporting Mossad false flags as if they were really committed by my brothers and sisters. To treat us as if we’re some unique threat to your precious space elevator, that decadent Tower of Babel for the modern age, is absolutely reprehensible.”
It was the priest’s turn to roll his eyes. “If you look up a list of every terrorist attack for the past century and a half, over ninety percent were committed by Islamic terrorist groups. That’s a difficult pattern not to draw any conclusions from, unless you just refuse to.”
Sarah once again leapt in to defend Islam. “Men like you, so called defenders of Western civilization, are quick to point out apparent racial and religious patterns in the rate of homicides, sexual assaults and terrorist attacks. But there is one pattern you always ignore: Every one of those crimes, or nearly so, was committed by a man.”
Both the priest and the Imam were aghast. “Now hold on” the priest countered, “not all men-” Sarah burst out laughing. “Oh, here it comes. Reliable as clockwork. The old “not all men” chestnut.” It took the wind out of the priest’s sails somewhat, but he next came at it from a different angle.
“If I cannot validly object to the generalization of an entire gender based on a pattern of crimes committed by members of that group, how can you object to the generalization of an entire religion on the same grounds?”
She looked briefly confused by the question, but quickly regained her footing. “It’s just different. There is no comparison. Islam is just misunderstood, whereas men actually are evil on the whole. That’s what my book is about” she said directly to the camera, “…available in all major reader formats as of this Monday.”
Stay Tuned for Part 33!