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It’s Not About Islam

A SHORT PLAY STARRING OSAMA BIN LADEN BASED ON A TRUE STORY.

Setting: The USS Carl Venson, an aircraft carrier somewhere in the Arabian Sea.

ENSIGN: So this is it. The body of America’s most wanted. Know what’s planned for it?

LIEUTENANT: Shark chum. Take some photos, weigh the son of a bitch down, and throw him overboard.

CAPTAIN: Not so fast, lieutenant. I just received my orders from the president. He wants to make sure Bin Laden has a proper burial in accordance with Sharia Law.

ENSIGN: Are you kidding me?

CAPTAIN: Nope. We’re a civilized country and we’re going to do this civilized.

ENSIGN: Are you kidding me?

CAPTAIN: Nope.

LIEUTENANT: Compared to what some of our men have been through, I’d say dumping him overboard without much fuss is civilized.

CAPTAIN: Sorry, gentleman. I have orders. Shouldn’t take more than 45 minutes.

ENSIGN: That’s longer than it took the second tower of the World Trade Center to collapse.

CAPTAIN: I’m sorry, but the president is worried about retaliation if we don’t give the body an Islamic burial.

ENSIGN: Retaliation from who? Al Qaeda? They hate us anyways.

CAPTAIN: No, from more mainstream Muslims.

ENSIGN: I thought this wasn’t about Islam?

CAPTAIN: It’s not.

LIEUTENANT: What about the 9/11 families who never found their loved one’s bodies in the rubble, let alone the chance to give them a proper burial? Giving the killer such dignified treatment seems unjust.

CAPTAIN: While I’m sure it may be difficult for some of them to understand, we must show the world this isn’t about Islam. That outweighs everything.

ENSIGN: But by conducting a religious ceremony in accordance with Sharia Law, aren’t we letting Osama’s religious convictions outweigh everything?

CAPTAIN: We don’t want angry Muslims rioting in the streets.

ENSIGN: Why would they be angry if it’s not about Islam?

CAPTAIN: It’s not about Islam.

LIEUTENANT: This man perverted Islam. He insulted Allah. He killed thousands of Muslims. There is no place other than Hell for such a man. We should dump his body into the ocean and be done with it. Hitler was Roman Catholic, but obviously he gave God the middle finger. I think most Catholics would have been offended if Hitler had been given a Catholic funeral. But somehow you are saying with Bin Laden it’s the opposite.

CAPTAIN: Hitler wasn’t given any type of funeral. His body was confiscated by the Soviets.

LIEUTENANT: You’re dodging the question.

CAPTAIN: I understand your objections, but you have to see the bigger picture. We wouldn’t want to piss off the Imams. We have to take their sensitivities into account, or it could make an already delicate situation more dangerous for our troops on the battlefield.

ENSIGN: You’re saying we have to take the sensitivities of radical Imams into account but not the sensitivities of Americans, and it’s still not about Islam?

CAPTAIN: That’s right. Islam is peace. Now I want you to meet the Muslim cleric who will be conducting the ceremony…

LIEUTENANT: A cleric who is not about Islam?

CAPTAIN: No, he’s Muslim and he’s brought his Quran. The whole thing shouldn’t take more than fifty minutes. We’ll have the body wrapped appropriately. And of course no women should be present. Sharia is very specific about this. Also, try and look solemn. We’ll be filming it for Al-Jazeera just in case his execution is viewed unfavorably by the Muslim world.

ENSIGN: But it’s not about religion.

LIEUTENANT: Nope. Of course not.

MUSLIM CLERIC: (begins praying) O Allah, forgive Osama and have mercy on him, keep him safe and sound and forgive him, honor the place where he settles and make his entrance wide; wash him with water and snow and hail, and cleanse him of sin as a white garment is cleansed of dirt. O Allah, give this warrior a house better than his house and a family better than his family. O Allah, admit him to Paradise and protect him from the torment of the grave and the torment of Hell-fire; make his grave spacious and fill it with light. O Allah, do not deprive us of the reward and do not cause us to go astray after this.

CAPTAIN: Thank you. Would anyone like to add a word to the prayer?

LIEUTENANT: Yeah. God bless America. Now send this devil back to Hell.

ENSIGN: Amen.

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