A Mohammedan in the Nick
Foreword: All chapters of Pigeon on the Wing published on this website are in draft form only. The final version may include grammatical, syntax and content changes, as well as sidebars and illustrations to maintain a level of interest and to stop readers’ eyes from glazing over. All comments and / or criticisms of content or writing style would be most welcome. Masterpieces like this don’t just write themselves, you know.
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Pigeon on the Wing – Chapter 10 – A Mohammedan in the Nick
Thursday 25 May 2017 – I was settling in to my new life on the wing of Category C block in HMP Thameside. It was Thursday morning, and I had assumed my accustomed position in the communal area, hunched over a chess-board whilst drinking a lukewarm mug of tea – courtesy of the hot tap in my cell (in the absence of a dedicated desktop plug-in water heating device.)
The absence of such a device, (a.k.a. an electric kettle) while not exactly leaving me disgruntled, was leaving me far from being completely gruntled, and I had been debating with myself for a couple of days about whether or not to lodge a complaint with my Trip Advisor representative.
No doubt he would have told me that kettles occupied a similar position on the HMP Thameside scale of desirable accoutrements as co-axial TV leads, Tasmanian alligator feathers and the excrement of rocking-horses. I surmised that it was just one of those things I would have to put up with.
In the meantime I was simultaneously contemplating my next move against an opponent with all the charisma and chess-board skills of a village idiot on his day off. He had left his king exposed in a fool’s-mate position, a basic error that was about to cost him dearly.
All of a sudden, a Mohammedan hove into view from the other end of the communal area. I noticed that he seemed to be heading in my direction.
This particular Mohammedan looked as though he was trying extremely hard to win the “HMP Thameside Devout Mohammedan of the Year” award, and I felt that his appearance warranted further examination.
He was in the possession of a large bushy black beard reaching halfway down his chest, which made him look like a Pakistani version of Father Christmas, but without the red suit and the accompanying jovial ho-ho-ho disposition.
He was wearing a multi-coloured prayer cap which looked as though it had been made in a kaleidoscope factory by an over-zealous operative who had just been told that silver glitter was all the rage this year, and who had been instructed to spare no expense in the manufacturing process.
The final touch was a long khaki-coloured djellaba reaching down to his ankles – an ensemble which contrasted fetchingly with his olive-green fur-lined parka jacket and matching olive-green socks and fur-lined slippers.
Most tellingly, he also had the notorious terrorist instruction manual – in the form of a green and gold hard-backed Koran – tucked under his arm.
Yes, I thought, that was definitely a one hundred per cent stove-enamelled, copper-bottomed, dyed-in-the-wool Mohammedan without the shadow of a doubt.
He bore down on me with all the unnerving accuracy of an incoming Exocet missile zooming in on an unsuspecting squirrel. I braced myself for the worst. Just because someone sports a natty matching parka, socks and slippers combination, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t out to get you, and in prison it is a good idea to be on the alert and to prepare accordingly.
Never let it be said that life in prison makes you paranoid about such things.
“Hey Grand-Dad,” he said – which I had found was the standard greeting for anyone over the age of 60 in the prison – “My name is Rohani. Can you help me with my English language homework? I hear you’re good at this. We need to complete all the tasks before my personal liaison officer visits next week, insh’allah.”
Word of my proficiency in the assessment process while I had been in the Category B section of the prison was something that had obviously spread quickly. However, something about his opening statement intrigued me.
“Personal liaison officer?” I thought. How come I didn’t have a “personal liaison officer”? I was rapidly coming to the conclusion that there was one rule for some people and another rule for others in the prison system. It was almost as if there was a privileged group of inmates whose demands and needs took priority over the rest of the prison population.
Surely not, I hear you say. What group would that be, I wonder?
Now it would seem that “personal liaison officers” could be added to this ever-growing list. No wonder conversions to Islam in prison were on the rise. If it had not been for the beguiling attractions of the young ladies of the South East London Gospel Choir (who were currently playing a starring role in the overnight maintenance of my nocturnal fantasies) then I could easily see how a conversion to the satanic world of Islam might be worth a try.
Only kidding. I am not so easily persuaded. It would take far more than the prospect of my own Personal Liaison Officer for me to convert to a genocidal totalitarian ideology with global ambitions of supremacy.
Even the prospect of seventy-two virgins in Paradise wouldn’t be enough. I am sure that most Mohammedans don’t realise that seventy-two virgins imply the additional prospect of seventy-two potential mothers-in-law, ready to nag you for all eternity if you don’t keep the house tidy, make sure that the lawn is mowed regularly and the hedges are kept neatly trimmed.
However, the delights of Islam obviously do appeal to many prison inmates. For example, it is not unknown for self-declared Mohammedans to enjoy a raft of extra privileges in British prisons, such as halal meals, extra time out of one’s cell for communal prayer on a Friday, and even (in some of the more progressive prisons) toilets orientated to face away from Mecca on the grounds that if Mohammedans knowingly defecate while facing Mecca then it would be the first step on a slippery slope to eternal damnation.
The metaphor “slippery slope” is probably not the most tactful one to use in such a context, but I am sure that you know what I mean.
While such privileges are no doubt meant to assuage religious sensitivities, it only encourages the Mohammedan community to consider themselves as superior to the rest of us mere mortals. Unfortunately this ridiculous notion is reinforced by the teachings in Islamic texts – such as Koran 3:110 – where Mohammedans are informed that they are “the best of people.”
That would be laughable if it weren’t so tragic. Since when did the ideology of Islam produce people superior to any others on this planet, when even a casual glance at the statistics available reveals that in every country where the ideology of Mohammed holds sway, the inhabitants of that country are right at the bottom of virtually every measurable yardstick of success?
If the teachings of Koran 3:110 were not bad enough, another verse – Koran 98:6 – informs Mohammedans that non-believers are “the worst of creatures.” Apologists for Islam frequently argue that this doesn’t apply to each and every non-believer, only to those who reject Islam, “even though they know it to be the one true religion” – which of course is nothing more than sophistry.
Sophistry, the use of clever but false arguments, with the specific intention of deceiving the unwary, are meat and drink to Mohammedans when it comes to defending Islam in front of non-believers. I know this from my own personal experiences leading up to the Birmingham Taqiyya Trial in April 2014. (See Chapter 6.)
All things considered, I was grateful that I had made the decision to keep the real reason for my detention to myself. A conviction for Religiously Aggravated Harassment might be somewhat complicated to explain to a devout Mohammedan, and I didn’t want to generate any unnecessary ill-feeling whilst confined inside the enclosed space of HMP Thameside.
I glanced down at the chess-board. The fool’s mate gambit would have to wait. I murmured my apologies to my opponent, and moved over to another table to sit opposite Rohani.
“So, you’re the Pigeon, eh?” said Rohani. “I have heard about you from my friends. You blow pigeons apart with a .44 Magnum, eh? Or was it a .50 Barrett? Like Dirty Harry, insh’allah. Maybe I should call you Dirty Harry.”
I wasn’t about to enlighten him concerning the limitations of my armoury. This was because my trusty .22 air rifle was nowhere near approaching the capabilities of a .44 Magnum or indeed a .50 Barrett (with its 2800 FPS muzzle velocity and effective range of over 2000 yards, it is obviously the ideal weapon for discouraging our feathered friends from nesting under the roof panels, and I had resolved to save up for one after I had been released.) “Oh yes,” I said nonchalantly, “no pigeon is safe from me and my .44 Magnum. Do you feel lucky, punk?”
I pointed my fingers at him and with my best Clint Eastwood impression, mimed the action of a hammer being pulled back on a .44 Magnum. It was obviously a good impression as far as impressions go.
Rohani regarded me impassively for a moment and then smiled broadly.
“Ha-ha! You and your famous British sense of humour! You and me are now good friends, yes? Now you can help me with this homework. I have to atone for my sins, insh’allah.”
Rohani’s homework was indeed an act of atonement. It comprised a series of questions relating to his offences of car-jacking a few months earlier. It was obviously designed to appeal to the conscience of a wrong-doer.
There was of course – implicit in this process – the premise within the prison homework questionnaire that the conscience of a Mohammedan was identical to the conscience of a non-believer. This is not necessarily true and is a frankly dangerous supposition which is, in my humble opinion, at the root of many if not all the differences, fallacies and misapprehensions between Mohammedans and non-believers. They simply do not think the same way as we do, which is – without a doubt – due to the teachings of the Koran and the Islamic Prophet Mohammed.
This was not something I was about to point out to Rohani at this time. In my experience, Mohammedans for the most part do not take kindly to points of view that may disagree with the Koran or indeed disagree with the views or the behaviour of the Islamic Prophet Mohammed, no matter how heinous such views and behaviour may be to those of us brought up with the honest and decent traditions of our Judaeo-Christian heritage.
I looked over Rohani’s homework and started to read out some questions.
Question 1 – “Describe how your victims must have felt when you attacked them in the street and stole their vehicle.”
Rohani: “Yeah, I suppose they might have been a bit upset. But then that’s infidels for you. Serves them right for having a posh motor though, innit. ”
Me: “No, Rohani, Moslem or not, they were more than likely extremely traumatised. It isn’t nice having your prized possessions taken away from you by a knife-wielding psychopath.”
Rohani: “Oh. Yes. Right. I suppose.”
Question 2 – “Describe how your family must have felt when you were arrested for your crimes.”
Rohani: “Yeah, well, they probably thought I was a chip off the old block. My dad was a senior commander in the Taliban, you know. He could shoot the eye out of a chicken at fifty paces. My mum was always telling him off about that. She needed those chickens for the eggs to sell at the market.”
Me: “No, Rohani, as Moslems living in the West, they would have been extremely ashamed that you had failed to live up to the high standards expected of a well-integrated law-abiding citizen in a civilised democracy.”
Rohani: “Oh. Yes. Right. I suppose.”
Question 3 – “Describe what you would do if you were faced with the same situation in the future.”
Rohani: “Yeah, well I would try harder not to get caught, wouldn’t I?”
Me: “No, Rohani, you would have seen the error of your ways and resolved to be a good citizen in the future by not stealing from other innocent law-abiding citizens, Moslems or not, and by making amends to your victims.”
Rohani: “Oh. Yes. Right. I suppose – I suppose we had better be writing this down. My personal liaison officer will want to see this. Please write it down for me. You want a Kit-Kat?” He held out a chocolate bar in front of me. He obviously felt that I was easily bribed.
I sighed inwardly. This was going to be hard work. I could see that he was expecting me to be his personal scribe. To be fair, Rohani’s handwriting and grasp of written English left something to be desired. Not to mention his moral compass.
“What did you do with these vehicles that you car-jacked?” I asked. “You obviously wouldn’t be able to keep them for any length of time.”
“You’d be surprised,” said Rohani. “My first cousin makes a good living churning out forged documents and cloned number plates – and my uncle has a chop shop in Bradford where you can get pretty much any car part that you might want.”
“Not only that,” he said, warming to his theme, “top-end Range Rovers and Jaguars fetch a fortune in the Middle East, where they are not so fussy about the paperwork. They are ever so easy to steal and disguise. I just change the plates and drive them to a container ship in Hull, where – ”
“Don’t tell me,” I said, “you have a relative who is a container ship captain. And another one who is a Customs Officer, perhaps?”
Rohani smiled at me, a big gap-toothed smile full of innocence. “I suppose some people might say that I shouldn’t have got involved, but it’s all part of the family business. In Islam, family is everything.”
He continued, “And it was great fun! So much fun! The expressions on the infidels’ faces when I held a knife to their throats and threatened to behead them! And of course I only ever stole cars from infidels, which is the most important thing, insh’allah.”
He uttered the last words with some trepidation, and glanced behind him, as if half-expecting to see the archangel Gabriel himself standing there, a frown etched into his brow and his wings gently rustling in disapproval as he thumbed through a sheaf of paperwork relating to a dodgy Range Rover.
Or worse still, a Range Rover that had mistakenly been taken from an innocent Mohammedan – which would have been in dire contradiction, naturally, of the numerous edicts concerning Range Rovers and other top-end vehicles that had been handed down by Allah over the centuries and subsequently incorporated into the Koran.
I was reminded of yet another verse that never made it into the Koran, having allegedly been written down on a palm leaf and eaten by a goat in the seventh century:- “O ye who believe! Never steal a camel from another Moslem, because he is your brother. But verily, the camel of the infidel is yours to do with what you will. And one day that camel will have air conditioning, adjustable suspension and reclining seats, and you will be at ease while the infidel gnashes his teeth and walks upon the desert sands.”
Oh well, that’s OK then, I thought. That’s the most important thing. No Moslems had been harmed during the execution of these crimes. I could definitely see Rohani being a productive member of society when he was finally released. All things considered, I felt it was my civic duty to help him.
Not only that, but I felt that it was right to show some compassion. I could see that Rohani had been to Hull and back.
In any case, you never know when you might end up needing a particularly hard-to-come-by distributor cap for a Ferrari. Or more likely, a set of tasty alloy wheels and tyres and some furry dice to hang from the rear-view mirror of a souped-up Ford Fiesta. Last but not least, helping Rohani with answering the questions in his English Language homework wasn’t entirely without its compensations.
A day or so later, there was a knock on my cell door. It was association time and the cell doors had been unlocked a few moments previously. A familiar face appeared.
“You want a kettle?” said Rohani, looking around my cell and expertly assessing my electrical appliances – or lack thereof. “I can get you a kettle.”
End of Chapter 10
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