Hamid Gul has recanted. But when he falsified concerning the presence or otherwise of a terrorist leader at some rally, he had no compunction. The man thought he was doing this for the greater glory of religion.
I have heard dozens of tales as spun by those of this breed who have no qualms prevaricating. Sample a couple.
About 12 years ago, I met in Peshawar the master of the post office at, if memory serves, Michni. He was not bearded but he introduced himself as a surgaram rukn of the Jamaat-e-Islami. Having waxed eloquent on the many achievements of his political party, he launched on a tirade against the West that was out to destroy us Muslims in tandem with the vicious lobby of the Hunood-o-Yuhood (Hindu-Jewish).
An argument followed and, to illustrate the forces in action against Islam, he quoted a story from a ‘digest’. On questioning, the digest turned out to be the organ of the Jamaat. The following, he said, was from this digest. Blinded by its anti-Islam hatred, the West had created the falsehood of the first heavier-than-air flying machine being invented in America. It was, in fact, designed and invented by an Egyptian Muslim.
Abu Musa, a bicycle repairman practiced his trade in Cairo, so it was reported in the digest. This genius of a man had drawn a detailed blueprint of a powered flying machine but, unable to finance its building, was at a loss to take the project any farther. Now, about that time, there lived somewhere in the US two brothers, “evil Christians or perhaps Jews”, who somehow got wind of this magical machine that they or anyone in the sinful and malicious West were incapable of conceiving.
Travelling to Cairo, the diabolical brothers sought out Abu Musa, the Muslim technician and requested for an apprenticeship to learn the art of the vulcanising bicycle tyres. And then one day, they stole the blueprints and made off to Kitty Hawk, where on a cold and windy December day in 1903, the brothers — Wilbur and Orville Wright, bloody fraudsters — flew the world’s first aircraft.
The other story is about Hazrat Musa (AS) and Aristotle as told by another pious and bearded man in the presence of several older gentlemen of similar countenance. It was not revealed where this particular story had been gleaned. The philosopher said to the prophet that he was so smart he could outwit God and his angels and that when his time was up, the Angel of Death will not be able to claim his soul.
And so when the day neared, Aristotle created two dozen statues in his exact likeness and in identical poses. He then placed himself in their midst so that no mortal could tell the sculptor from the sculptures. There came the Angel of Death to take the heathen soul and at a complete loss stood scratching his chin. But guided by God, the angel hit upon an idea. He called out aloud, “Ah, so Aristotle thinks himself a great mind. He may well be, but he has made one mistake and I know the real him.”
“What mistake could I have possibly made?” cried out the indignant philosopher. And so the Angel of Death who until then had not zeroed in on the real Aristotle and may never have discovered him — so it was implied — grabbed the man by the throat and took his accursed soul straight to the eternal fires of hell.
As the man finished his tale, a round of breathy prayer and adulation went up. At least, one elderly man in the company claimed to be a writer, but no one asked how Hazrat Musa (AS) and Aristotle came to share the same time in history. The former is believed to have lived about 1400 BCE and the latter in the 4th century BCE. But for those who wished to assign greater glory, even if supposititious, to their belief this was irrelevant.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 25th, 2012.