Beheading, has been an old and primitive form of public execution to reinforce the “Who is your daddy sentiment” in the targeted audience. And as the current rock stars of the Islamic gun revolution plan to take us back to the camel riding days of the Muhammad (PBuH). We are seeing an increasing number of these incidents. But as long as these don’t happen in our vicinity we ignore it like the Ebola virus until it came knocking to our international airports.
I am sharing some snippets from the last few pages of the Journal of Mr. Steven Sotloff a half Jewish American freelance reporter, who was recently brutally executed in the deserts of Iraq by ISIS after one year of captivity. The act was duly recorded and circulated in the media and even the perpetrators were surprised by the speed of the media and internet nowadays. The publicity their stunt had garnered even overshadowed the Jennifer Lawrence iCloud leak.
This journal was found on the person of Indian origin (Dongri, Mumbai) Irrfan, who had specially gone to Iraq to join the Jihad against America on the call from ISIS. Irrfan was a school dropout. He had then joined the local Madrassa to learn farsi and Persian so that he could understand what he spoke 5 times a day during namaaz, but all the efforts of Qazi were futile , as Irrfan, except checking out his daughter did nothing worthwhile and finally was expelled from the there too. His father late Shahnawaz was by no account a religion fanatic. He considered this religion fanaticism nothing more than time waste, but he died too soon to drill the same values in Irrfan. Unfortunately his mother was not cut from the same cloth as his father. She had lost her cousin in the 1993 riots in Mumbai and from that time nursed a grudge against Hindus. Even though majority of the clients for her ladies boutique were fat upper middle class Gujrati ladies, then logic was not a strong forte of Viqrunissa Begum. And she was very proud of her name though she never bothered about the meaning.
Not much is known about the indoctrination of Irrfan. How a school dropout had got such courage to join the most organized covet terrorist organization is something that is keeping the NSA(National Security Adviser) and HM(Home minister) up at nights. Irfan has been kept in the super-secret interrogation center, which is the Indian Parliament. I am not talking about the floor of the house where ding dong battles are staged between old and obese politicians, but the torture room many floors below that. All the high value targets are placed there cut off from the world. Even the interrogators are housed there till the time target breaks. These measures are very necessary. A stint down the dungeons can be very demanding even for the intelligence sleuths as except the NSA no one has the access to them, not even their family. So, normally young bachelor recruits are given the job to break the subject.
Not many people knew that the terrorist attack on the Parliament a decade ago had twin objectives of holding the bleeding Indian democracy at ransom and other to get their brothers freed from the hell below. Only terrorist and Intelligence officers know about the underground hell under the heart of the Indian democracy.
Last few pages from the Journal of the beheaded journalist Steven:
Sometimes I am so lost in my thoughts that I forget I am in chains and have been in the same condition for the last 355 days and 16 hours. My wrists and ankles have turned into a very different shade than the rest of the skin due to the constant shackling. For first couple of the months, it was green, then blue and now the color is same as the rusted cuffs. These chains now feel like a part of my body, like some appendage. Slowly and steadily my urge to stand up and move has got subdued. I think this is what Darwin would have called evolution. Albeit, a negative one. I have lost about 40 pounds, thanks to the diet I get here, the cheapest way to get rid of the flab with no exercise; I have to hold onto my pants while standing up.
The best part of the day is when I am allowed to walk around the hut , it takes me precise 380 steps to walk around the hut. And after one complete round I am again chained like a pet underfed dog. I have no contact with the outside world
I am daily given a mug of salted tea with some stale thick bread called samoon. It has deep pocket marks and some mustard seeds spread over it, though it’s stale, but I pretend that I am eating straight fresh from the oven. It’s an exercise for my gums to chew the bread. The tea helps to wash it down. Tea is much stronger and thicker. Lunch menu can vary with the mood of the Jailor. If all goes well till lunch we may even get a good meal, but if any prisoner creates any nuisance ,apart from getting beaten black and blue ,rest of the camp has to be satisfied with left overs. This is a very effective way of checking revolt. Keep them starved.
The man who runs the prisoner camp is a gulf war veteran. Everyone calls him the jailor.I came face to face with him only once and it was no pleasant experience.
The mujahid who was given the duty of watching me had an eye for my Nike trainers which I was wearing at the time of my kidnapping. And finally one night he stole them, I didn’t even protest, but next day the Jailor himself came with a poly bag containing my shoes. The poly bag was blood stained. It is still lying untouched . I never saw the mujahid again around the prison. Theft, I guess must be inviting a death penalty in “Caliphate”.
My next guard was a dark brown guy. Short and gaunt with small hairs sprouting on his chin, which he liked to play with, absent mindedly.
He was like me, bored to death and would have liked nothing better than to have a conversation.
So finally, one evening when he was watching me taking my evening walk around the hut, I decided to break the ice.
“Where are you from”, I asked.
“India; keep walking and don’t look towards me, if anyone sees me talking to you that will be the last moment of my life”, he replied without apparently moving his lips.
“Ok ok”, I replied.
Caution is the elder brother of tomfoolery in these times.
Finally when I was back to the privacy of my hut, I had a conversation with him.
“So, what brought you here to this hell hole of middle east”, my first journalistic question since …umm very long.
“I am a Muslim from India and it’s my duty to fight for my Muslim brethren anywhere in the world”, pat came the answer.
He spoke English in a very funny fashion. The answer was not a result of original thinking but some rote learning. He couldn't even face me while answering. Something in the sand caught his fantasy and he remained silent for the next 15 minutes. He began to mutter something to himself in some very strange language. After a lot of head shaking and frothing at the corners of his mouth, he looked up and stared at me blankly. His eyes had the “where the fuck I am” expression and he knew that I had deciphered the same.
“Are you alright”, I asked slowly.
“Yes, I am fine. You seem to be an educated guy. Can I ask you something?”
“Yes, go ahead”, I replied enthusiastically.
“Why are you here? I mean you don’t seem like an American soldier or a spy.
Your round thick glasses remind me of my school principal.” He laughed
“I am here because I wrote an article which didn’t go well with the so called Caliph”.
“What did you write to piss the Khalifa so much?” he smiled.
“Something that the Caliph does not want the world to know”
“Ok stop, before you say another word, if the Khalifa wants it secret then so be it, no need for me to hear it”.
He was pointing towards something with his eye balls.
I didn’t get it, but immediately 4 burly henchmen with covered faces and Kalashnikov’s appeared out of now where, the guard was lifted by the gun totting guys from the armpits. One of them carried a lawn chair and opened it in front of me.
Suddenly hush fell around; everyone was straight up as if holding their breaths.
“Caliph has come, bow your head in prostration”. A gunman pushed me with nozzle of the gun. I got up on my knees and bowed.
He is not that tall as Al-Jazeera wants us to believe, except for his thick forearms nothing about him is like a mujahid; he looks any other Arab, thick jovial round face. But his nose is sharp giving him a feature that is not common in this part of the world. His shoulders are round from the hours of study he must have put to get two PhDs. His one thesis was on the medieval Sufis of Middle East and the other on the concept of the modern Caliphate. It had created a furore in the academic circles of Iraq, but then his connections with the Al-Qaeda nulled any official protests. Even American intelligence dismissed him as an intellectual threat nothing more, to our own peril. Because he not only created the dream but also made sure it is realized in this life time only.
He occupied the chair which was by some standards not able to fit him completely. He pulled the chair closer to me.
By a wave of hand he ordered his men to unchain me and leave.
Now we were alone, Caliph and the pet dog. I couldn’t resist a headline.
“How is Jailor treating you?” he asked looking directly into my eyes.
“Nothing to complaint, but now that you are asking a chilly cheese burger would really cheer up my day”, I replied. When your life depends on a whim of a maniac, fear just vanishes from you.
”Has the jailor given you any paper to write? You journalists can’t sleep without slinging mud on someone, isn't it?”
“Yes, that was very thoughtful of you, But how did you came to know about the article I was writing on your dubious ancestry”. I was really curious as it was still in the drafts folder of my Mac book when ISIS picked me up.
“You had visited too many people and places asking about me, I kept ignoring you as another nosy journo, but when you started inquiring about my maternal family. Something had to be done.”
I had managed to uncover a secret that could shake both the Caliphate and Caliph to its foundation. But instead of the Pulitzer, I was kidnapped.
The mighty Caliph stood up, his back turned towards me.
“You do realize that by a movement of my little finger I can get you beheaded and thrown in to the desert.”
“Actually, I am wondering what has taken you so long.”
He slashed across my face, it stung and a white light flashed before my eyes.
“I am sorry”, the normally placid and cool Khalifa had sweat on his forehead.
But this time I couldn’t smile, I tasted my own blood.
“You are just like Voldemort”, I blurted out, spitting out blood on the sand
“Who the hell is Voldemort?” He replied angrily.
“Don’t tell me the legendary Caliph Abu Al –Bakr Baghdadi has not read Harry Potter”, I said mockingly.
“Oh that crap child fantasy, no I haven’t”.
“Then I recommend that you read it. The villain of this series, Voldemort shares one very curious characteristic with you.”
Both of them were the flag bearers of a particular community, Magicians in Voldemort’s case and Muslims in Baghdadi’s case. But there was a flaw in their family tree, ; they themselves were half-bloods.
For hardcore extremist Muslims, almost every other religion is like muggles or the more popular, KAFIR’s ,the non-believers, but the race they hate the most is Jews and it was indeed a very skinny Jewish college student who had brought this monster named Baghdadi in this world in a dingy room of a nondescript nursing home. His father, a middle aged handsome Arabic professor at the university had no idea what bane his one night casual sex with an exchange student had created.
One of the goals for ISIS is the extermination of Jews from Israel. If the followers and so called “believers” came to know that their Caliph was himself half -Jew. The caliphate would crumble like a house of cards.
For reading the rest of the Journal, please log on to:- www.wikileaks.com/steve_Journal_al_baghdadi
1. Parliament has no torture center down stairs.
2. Jews don't have hell or heaven.
3. It is fiction, of course and the link may be phony.