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Friday, June 24, 2016

Islamohaven: an allegory

A nice American couple recently had a guest arrive at their home. He was from the Middle East. The couple wanted to be good hosts and tried to accommodate him as best they could.

They gave him their largest guest bedroom, his own private washroom and complete privacy. He thanked the couple and turned in for the night--his first night in the West.

The next morning, the couple was having a breakfast: bacon and eggs, toast and jam, and coffee when the guest came down to join them.

"What is that horrible odor?" he asked the man's wife.
"I'm not sure what you're referring to," she answered.
"It smells like someone has been cooking swine."
"Oh, we're having bacon with our eggs. We know it isn't the healthiest of food, but we only have it on rare occasions with Sunday breakfast."
"It isn't about health; it makes me feel ill to smell it. I hope you will not cook it in the future," he said. "It offends me and goes against Sharia, which is the law of my religion."
"Oh, we're sorry--we didn't realize that," said the husband. "We'll make sure that we only cook it when you're gone from the house."
"No, the problem is that I cannot be in the same home that cooks swine. Is there no way you can eat your swine outside this wonderful home you have invited me into?"
"Okay. Bacon isn't all that important to us that we can't wait to eat it at a restaurant on the occasions we hunger for it," the wife said, smiling but feeling uncomfortable.
"Good," the guest said, and then went back to his room.

Another day passed and the couple heard sounds coming from the guest room. It sounded as if their guest was building something. They decided to check in on him to see what was going on.

When they got to the top of the stairs, they were met by the guest. He stood in front of the closed bedroom door, blocking the couple from entering the guest room.
"We heard some noise coming from up here," the husband said in a friendly tone, "and we just wanted to see what's going on."
"Nothing to see here," the guest replied. "I was just making a small prayer area while enjoying your hospitality." 
"Oh, sorry. We would never interfere with your religious practices," the husband said. "May we have a look to satisfy our curiosity?"
"Perhaps another time. I am very busy with the project now." The guest entered his room, closed the door and locked it.
The couple looked at each other both with confused expressions. 

They went downstairs and left for work while their guest stayed at home and enjoyed the conveniences the house had to offer.

A few weeks went by and by this time, the guest had really made himself "at home." While his hosts were at work, he spent a good part of his time praying, eating the Halal food bought for him by his hosts, and reading from the Quran.

Meanwhile, the husband and wife were feeling "put off" and somewhat upset with their guest. They believed he was taking advantage of their good will. In fact, the main reason they took him into their home in the first place was because they were told he was in danger if he stayed in his own country known as Islamohaven. 

Over time, the guest began acting more like the house he was staying in belonged to him and he began making demands. When the demands could not be met by the couple, he threatened to make trouble for them and even called a Muslim lawyer to send them a threatening letter.

Yes, he was an Islamohaven refugee but a lousy guest.