Thursday, 30 March 2017

Straight Outta Flint

[Media prompt] Mona Haydar, a poet and activist from Flint Township, produced a rap song about hijab, a head covering worn by many Muslim women.
Straight Outta Flint

In 1987, Professor Salty Said flew to Saudi Arabia and pitched an idea so preposterous that it astonished every aging Arab who heard it. Even the ones who carted around their own gold-plated escalators when travelling. His plan was offensive, rooted in realism, and audacious, which is just the right mix if you want to get camel jockeys on board.

“Look,” said Salty, “you’re never going to win over the West with Wahhabism.” That was the offensive bit. If there was one thing the Saudis believed in, it was death to the West via the crackpot teachings of the eighteenth crackpot, Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab. But once he was over that hurdle, he knew he had a chance. “And it’s going to take a century at least before we’re in a position to start throwing our weight around in America.” The Saudis nodded at this. They understood demographics as well as the next tent dweller. That was the realistic part of his pitch, and after this he could see light at the end of the tunnel. “So we need a bold new strategy,” he said. “Look,” he said – he always said look to emphasise his point, “Look. We need the shock troops, the fighters, the jihadi warriors. But we need some soft power as well.” The mere mention of soft power was enough to make them get down on a prayer rug and kiss his boots. They gave Salty millions, telling him to make a start immediately.

The first thing he did when he got back home was establish the Clandestine Academy of American Culture. Don’t bother Googling it. There are no records about this organisation of any kind. For one hundred years, it has operated under the radar, right under the noses of successive American governments. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t effective. It was.

CAAC operated on two levels. One level involved instilling in its pupils the main tenets of Wahhabism. In short, it trained jihadi warriors. It filled their heads with the teachings of Mohammed, Saudi style. If you’re going to invade and overthrow a country, you need people who can follow orders. The other level was quite different, and involved training little Wahhabis in American culture. Salty understood that, at the most fundamental level, if you wanted to rule America, then you needed to convince Americans you were harmless. And the best way to do that was have Muslims producing American culture.

It worked better than he imagined. His breakthrough came in 2017, with the rap hit Hijabi, by Mona Haydar, a girl from Flint. Americans loved it, and within years Muslim rappers were winning awards everywhere you looked. The mainstream ate it up. By the 2030s, Muslims were making Academy award winning movies, writing Pulitzer prizes for their books, and dominating fashion. Before he knew it, the kafir was no longer in control. 

And all because Salty Said had an audacious plan.

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