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Islamic Ninjas...Posted Tuesday, August 11, 2009, at 8:40 AM
When I began my college career, one of my goals was to develop more depth with the many cultures within our society. One of the geography classes I registered for promised to do just that: unveil different societies and religions to those of us who were unknowing and therefore socially ignorant.
Since I'm not a geographical genius, I teamed up with my best friend -- we'll call her Kitty Kardashian (she swears she's the long lost Kardashian sister, and strikingly enough, she does favor them) -- to manhandle this Course-O-Maps.
Attending this particular class proved harder than necessary to begin with. My professor had an extra long pinky finger on her left hand that always caught my ADD's attention. She could have been lecturing about Santa Claus' affair with a pre-teen homosexual and it wouldn't have held my attention; her pinky finger was no less than three inches longer than her others, and when she used it to point at images on the projection screen, I cringed. As far as I was concerned, that pinky finger was dangerous and therefore should have been dealt with by the likes of a hacksaw of some sort.
It was no surprise to me when Kitty brought up an assignment that was discussed in class; I hadn't a clue what she was referring to. My brain had wandered into the realm of the striking resemblance between The Pinky and a bendy straw that comes with a Big Gulp soda. Apparently, we were to visit the local mosque (because those are common) and study the worship of Muslims. The only requirement was that our head be covered, and no shorts were allowed.
My intellect for the Islamic religion was faint, and due to the following events, it still is. My world was about to crash in a large Islamic foot-in-mouth ordeal that would do nothing more than secure my faith in Christianity.
After careful preparation over a large selection of the Taco Bell menu, Kitty and I got ready to meet Pinky Extraordinaire at Head Covering Headquarters. Since the "no shorts" rule left much to be deciphered, Kitty and I decided black was the official color of Islam. All black. Black from head to toe. Black turtlenecks, black pants, black socks, shoes, underwear and... head scarves? Who has head scarves lying around? Black ones at that! Kitty decided a "scarf belt" was the same thing, so she donned a hot pink one with glitter and I grabbed a white-with-black-polka-dots combination. For purity reasons, we decided make-up was a no-no. Black is obviously pure, but make-up is Satan's Paint. Once we looked each other over, we decided we were the hottest things to prance around the mosque since Allah put it on 'em back in the day.
We took my car (it's black) and drove to the mosque in silence. We had no idea what to expect, but music seemed like an evil thing in the spectrum of what we were about to do so we turned it off. We parked the car and proceeded to walk around the building to the front when we heard... that. A man's voice singing-- or chanting more so. The only applicable description is "KjadlfkkjowijefljLFKJOIIWJOIWlkjdkfljaldjjifeljKLJdifjajwiIU F KDFJlkljowsdfj Allllaaaaaahhhhh."
Exchanging glances, Kitty and I decided this foreign chant was creepy enough to skip the ceremony altogether and ditch the assignment. As far as we were concerned, Al Qaeda was in there and we were but mice in a big game of Foreign Policy: Guess Again. Just as we turned to run away, another girl from our class came running up the sidewalk and pleaded with us to go in with her so she wouldn't have to go alone. Being the natural born people pleasers we are, we decided against our better judgment and let her lead us toward the double doors. I was convinced suicide bombers were training inside. I wasn't up for target practice.
As soon as we walked in, the entire congregation (or Islam group, or whatever) turned to see who had entered. Suddenly, it became a scene from a Muslim comedy film entitled "Two White Girls Dressed As Ninjas Bust Inside The Mosque And Look Ridiculously Out Of Place." One could hear crickets in the background as the chanting abruptly ended. We wondered why no one else was dressed like us; they wondered why we looked like pallbearers. After what seemed like thirty minutes of staring, they finally went back to bending and chanting and twirling and howling. Kitty and I slid into the nearest corner and gawked at each other. Suddenly, we realized that maybe the dress code wasn't as strict as we'd imagined in our heads. It would be a long night, especially for those of us who were dressed like ninjas.
After an hour of the "Koajsdkfiel Allah" chant, we were ushered into the dining hall for a short film on all that is Islam. As we sat alone in the middle section, we realized no one wanted to be affiliated with the Wannabe Ninjas. It appeared we had offended some of the institution, with our blacked out dress code and belted heads. I had decided to focus my attention on the film when Kitty elbowed me ever-so-gently.
"Cover your head!" she half whispered, half hollered. My hands flew to my head, and I realized my belt scarf thing had slipped off my skull and was draped around my neck. I suddenly had mental flashes as to how bad Islam Hell could be. I feverishly wrapped the belt around my head numerous times and finished it off with a tight knot under my chin that threatened to cease circulation to my brain. Breathing or not, I was not visiting Islamic Hell.
When the film ended, a young Muslim took center stage and began talking about the difference between Christianity and Islamic faiths. I'd stopped thinking about Islam Hell when a phrase she kept saying distracted me. "Peacebeuponhim" kept coming up in random sentences. Kitty and I both grew more and more annoyed. I looked around; we were the only two that seemed confused by what she was saying.
"What is she saying?" I asked.
"It sounds like... 'bees pee up on him'?" Kitty said.
"No, 'please be up on him' I think."
"Maybe it's 'peace bip hanim'?"
"No! It's 'peace be upon him!'" Kitty screeched.
"Peace be upon who?" I was confused.
After further study, we decided this "peace be upon him" business came after any name spoken. We thought it sounded cute on our names, too, but decided that may be a form of blasphemy.
We decided we were finished with our culture shock when they tried to feed us "specially prepared" food. We didn't know how Islam food was prepared, but peace be upon it, though. After refusing Koran after Koran, we finally settled on some Islam literature that we promised to read and consider (just before accidently making sure it didn't come with us). Then we headed to Taco Bell to discuss life from a ninja's perspective. Sometimes I wonder if those Mississippi Muslims ever wonder what happened to the Ninja Bombshells... peace be upon them, of course.
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Follow the events of a young, single female who just graduated college and is looking for the next chapter to begin. The Fabulous Chronicles of an Average Bombshell looks at what life is like for a young woman in her 20's, living in a small town, who has nothing in common with her friends: she's not interested in marriage, she wants a taste of the city life, and dating is for fun not so much for finding The One.