Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Delicious Blasphemy

I have always admired Tom Lehrer. Because I was raised as a Roman Catholic, one of my favorite songs of his has always been "The Vatican Rag". It always seemed so deliciously blasphemous and since all our elders disapproved it, we students embraced the lyrics with enthusiasm. What great fun it was to mock the ponderous and sober tenets of religion--especially the Catholic religion. What could the Pope do to us? The worse imaginable fate was excommunication, (even we couldn't imagine burning in Hell for something so light-hearted). Even Pontiffs must have had a sense of humor, though, and nothing happened to us. Lightening didn't come down and strike us dead (a good thing!), and in my heart I always imagined the Pope would smile at the clever lyrics. After all, God gave us Free Will and we must choose to believe--or not to believe. And if we believe, does that automatically mean there is nothing funny or joyful in the world?

OK. Here’s the question of the day. Can Islam tolerate being mocked like Catholicism? Surely the Taliban at least rate a Rag of their own (sorry, Tom!):

The Taliban Rag

First you open the Koran,
Listen to the crazed Imam,
Chant his mindless words from hell,
So you can kill the infidel!

Wear that hijab on your head!
Soon you’ll wish that you were dead!
Everybody go to war,
Allah, allahu akbar,
Doin' the Taliban Rag.

Women, get into that burkha,
You can’t learn and you can’t work-a,
'Cause the guy called ayatollah will
Issue fatwas that are meant to kill.
Do not dance or love your body,
Soon you'll be a true jihadi;
A-one and two and then a three-a,
Time to implement Shar’ia!

So go open that Koran,
Listen to that crazed Imam.
Learn his mindless words from hell,
So you can kill the infidel!

He is not a Dalai Llama,
When in caves do like Osama;
All praise be to Allah,
Shout aloud Inshallah!
Gettin' ecstatic an' sorta dramatic an
'Doin' the Taliban Rag!

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