Thursday, 3 July 2008

A joke about the Prophet Muhammad

In the absence of any animated updates, here's a script I wrote ages ago that I still haven't got round to making.

Graham is sitting, as usual at his computer:


Graham:
So the Prophet Muhammad walks into a bar... Uh, no... Not a bar, no. Let's start again. The Prophet Muhammad walks into a cafe that has no license to serve alcohol.

Cartoon: An invisible man in a robe and turban walks up to a counter where Grey Bloke is standing wearing a waiter's apron.

Graham (voiceover):
And he walks up to the counter, and the barman - I mean the cafeman - says:

Graham as Cafeman:
"Why the invisible face?"

And the Prophet Muhammad says
"Well, it's like this. About 1400 years ago I wrote a book that became something of a bestseller, very highly-regarded in many countries of the world, and taken as scripture by millions of people."

We see the turban bobbing around as we hear Muhammad's voice.

And the Cafeman says
"Congratulations."

And Muhammad says
"Thanks. But the thing is, out of all the millions of people who have read my book and find it very helpful to them, there are some who get extremely defensive about its contents. And not just about its contents, but also about other things that I'm reported to have said."

And the Cafeman says
"You're losing me a bit... What do you mean?"

And Muhammad says
"Well, I'll give you a "for instance". In my book, God features quite a lot, and he makes it very clear that only he should be worshipped. Nobody else - and he's very particular about this - absolutely nobody else is allowed to be venerated to the extent that God is."

And the Cafeman says
"Sounds reasonable."

And Muhammad says
"Well, sure. He is God. But what happened is, the people who followed me obviously had a lot of respect for me, me being Main Prophet, so to speak, and after I died, the clerics who were in charge of maintaining the faith decided that there was a danger that some people might start to put me on more or less the same level as the creator."

Cafeman
"To idolise you, you mean?"

Muhammad
"Exactly. Possibly the clerics of the time had seen what was happening with Christianity - pictures of Jesus and Mary and various Saints; statues going up all over the place - you know, arguably the idolisation of all of these religious characters transformed Christianity from a monotheistic religion into a polytheistic one - and a lot of clerics were probably afraid that if images of myself were permitted, a similar thing might happen with Islam."

Cafeman
"What? Even if someone just painted a picture to remind people of what you'd looked like? There was a fear that they might start worshipping the picture?"

Muhammad
"Well, yes, that. But also, I am reported to have been quite negative about painters and figurative imagery in general."

Cafeman
"Ah. And you put that in your book, did you?"

Muhammad
"Um, no. Not in so many words. Not in any words at all, to be honest. But despite that, depicting me in visual form is now one of Islam's biggest taboos, and all Muslims must refrain from doing so."

Cafeman
"Right. That's fair enough, isn't it? Nobody should violate the taboos of their own faith, that would be stupid."

And Muhammad says
"Well, quite."

Pause.

Cafeman
"What about non-Muslims?"

Muhammad
"Excuse me?"

Cafeman
"Presumably the taboo doesn't apply if you're not a follower of the faith, right? I mean, Muslims don't expect non-Muslims to not eat pork or drink beer, for instance, so...?

Muhammad
"Yeah, it's an interesting question, isn't it? Obviously, in an ideal world, it wouldn't be an issue - because there wouldn't be any non-Muslims. But given that there are billions of people and thousands of different belief systems on the planet, it would seem unreasonable for everybody to be expected to have the same reverence for me that Muslims do."

Cafeman
"Right."

Muhammad
"However, there are quite a few of my fans who tend to react in a very... um... extreme manner, whenever they hear about something that they think might be insulting to me."

Cafeman
"So, you're saying...?"

Muhammad
"I think I'm saying that if you are an unbeliever, then theoretically - and legally, if you live in a non-Muslim country - you're free to draw as many pictures of me as you like. But on a practical level, you probably will have to spend the rest of your life hiding from fanatical idiots who want your head on a stick."

Cafeman
"Interesting. Anyway, welcome to the twenty first century. What can I get you?"

3 comments:

Luke said...

Compelling story but I don't think it fits in too well with the tone of somegreybloke, unless its just the way I read it that gave me this feeling

Mike said...

No, I know what you mean and you're right. Doesn't really fit his character or what we've seen so far, which is one of the reasons I didn't get round to recording it.

sappylovesong x said...

Hahahaha... silly Muhammad.