Thousands of Middle-Eastern Men Stone Selves
March 10, 2007:
"A shocking realization," is what Mohamed Salihovich said yesterday upon hearing about the Teddy Bear Teacher's plight in Sudan. He was one of many Middle-Easterners who had received a sudden and mind-opening revelation: "My first name is Mohamed. I am an infidel. I must stone myself."
Gillian Gibbons, a British grade school teacher in Sudan, is spending 15 days in jail for insulting religion for naming her class teddy bear Mohammed. Protesters, livid, yet immobilized by rage, have been seen frozen in the streets of Sudan with their mouths agape, not knowing what to do. According to religious laws in certain Mid-East countries, it is considered a sacrilege to use the name Mohammed.
"The problem is," says Las Vegas odds maker, Mo "the Weazel" Calacci, "that it's not really a law. The law is that you can't insult faith and religion. That business about Mohammed is just something they make this stuff up as they go along."
"We are so stunned that we do not know what to say or how to do it," said Mohammed Fahrd, a store owner. Another protester, who preferred not to be named, told us, "I am so mad, I could spit. But mostly, I am mad at me, myself. Maybe if I am just standing here, motionless, not to move, things will blow over me like wind."
A uniformed man with a bullhorn standing atop an SUV shouted, "Men whose names are Mohamed, form two lines. One line will stone yourselves and the other will cane yourselves."
"The sheer number of men whose first names are Mohamed, Mohammed, Mo or Ham, makes it difficult to facilitate all the punishing needed to make things right with God," said Abdul Jackson, a professor of literature in London. "They, like many of us Middle-Eastern men here will take it upon ourselves to punish ourselves. It's on the honor system... and it will save a lot of money.
"What about me?" asked Mo Ellsworth from Zelianople, Pennsylvania. People consider Pennsylvania to be Middle Atlantic, yet we're kind of close to the Ohio line, so we're kind of Mid-Western. Some people call it the Mid-East. Do I have to cane myself? Besides, I'm a Catholic, can't I just go to confession?
An international hotline (800-555-5544) has been se tup to answer the enormous volume of questions about proper self-punishment. In the meantime, men named Mohamed around the world will have to continue standing frozen in the streets with their mouths agape. Others will be forced to remain curled up in fetal positions, rolling around in the streets having tantrums.
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