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Home > Culture and Society

Ham it up, Hamza!

10 February 2004

The Daily Express have taken a well-deserved day off from screeching about gypsies to have a go at their favourite whipping boy: Abu Hamza, the ‘mad mullah’.

Old hook-for-hands is such a niggling itch in the hide of the Express that they must sometimes wish they had hooks themselves to help them scratch it. Their headline today: ‘Hook To Stay 7 More Years’ is followed by the usual throaty squawk of horror at how the “poison preacher” is costing us millions of pounds, and “making a mockery” of our legal system.

And Hamza himself? There is a photograph of him on page 11, attending a mosque (from which he has been banned) in a dull grey raincoat, his steel hands stuffed deep in his pockets.

What an idiot!

Why is he keeping his best assets under wraps? Is he mad?

Well, yes. He is. But still, you’d think – with his age and experience – that he wouldn’t be so careless as to contravene Rule 1 in the How To Be A Scary Fanatic handbook: if you’ve got hooks for hands, then keep them well-polished, constantly in view, and wave them merrily. Don’t hide your light under a bushel. “When you’ve got it,” as Max Bialystock said, “flaunt it, flaunt it!”

Peer menacingly through the curve of the hook, like so:


Pick your teeth with them. Burst children’s balloons with them. Stick an apple on the end of one and chew from it during the dull bits in deportation proceedings.

Or better: surprise journalists and Home Office officials by fixing different novelty ends to your wrist-stumps. As you yell for the western infidels to have their intestines ripped out and their heads crushed, suddenly whip out a cheeky dildo:


What you lose in gravitas, you will gain in laughs.

Or perhaps you want to appear gentler, coy even. Then why not flick open a delicate Japanese fan:


Who could deport such a bashful chap?

This same argument applies to most fundamentalists: you will never win the hearts and minds of the world unless you develop a sense of playfulness and fun. It's all about PR. If you're going to call for the destruction of the imperialist west, then why not 'rap' your demands to the tune of Ice Ice Baby? You'll get thirty times the coverage, and may even have a chart hit on your hands.

Likewise, if you're going to blow yourself up in a suicide attack, then do so while dressed as Big Bird:


How could anyone hate you? You'll get 70 virgins in the hereafter, and the hilarious footage of you trying to clamber onto the bus and getting your big feet caught in the automatic doors will become an instant TV classic.

In short: put the fun back into fundamentalism!

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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