At 5am this morning, I received a call from a morning news program on one of the commercial channels. I was told some things that I cannot quite remember, and then offered a car or some cab charges so I could come to their studio and be interviewed.
I couldn’t quite remember what I had been told or which TV station it was. My brain was filled with antibiotics thanks to an infected index finger.
Readers, try not to laugh or make jokes about where that finger had been. I’ve been hearing it for the last fortnight!.
Then again, I’ve been hearing many things which are quite funny but no laughing matter. I’ve been hearing comparisons between my generation of Aussie Mossies (Australian Muslims) and the rioters in Paris. I’ve been hearing a government minister tell me I need to learn more about an English illegal immigrant and his donkey.
I’ve even been hearing (and reading in Hansard) about a backbencher describing me as a “bomb thrower”. I’m surprised my former Liberal Party factional ally Mrs Bishop didn’t refer me to ASIO herself. Perhaps she realised I was throwing bombs on her behalf against the Liberal left.
But returning to the TV show. The person phoned me and said that they would be filming close to my house. They would be in Lakemba.
I remember the person mentioning something about raids on Muslims. “As you are aware, a whole bunch of Muslims have been raided, and we are covering the story this morning.”
Me? Aware? And me? Living in or near Lakemba?
For some reason, people assume that I know about terrorist acts and anti-terrorist raids. How would I know? Is there a magical grape-vine that runs from Uncle Usama’s cave in northern Pakistan all the way to Ryde? Do I subscribe to a telepathic podcast that tips me off about the next ASIO raid?
And yes, my name does sound a little exotic. No one could ever pronounce my name correctly. Is it “Ear Phone”? Or “Ephraim”? Or “I-Frame”?
(One of my female friends told me her niece started reading text messages I would send to her. When I asked how her niece knew who it was, she said: “I have your name down on my phone as just “If”. Don’t ask me how it’s meant to be said!” And she herself as a surname that leaves stretchmarks on my tongue!)
This morning, I read about a “prominent Islamic cleric” being among those arrested. Some dude from Melbourne called Abu Bakr.
What made Abu Bakr so prominent was that he appeared on the ABC’s 7:30 Report. But the way some of our newspapers and journos are these days, anyone with half a brain and who looks like something out of “Team America” can become a “prominent Islamic cleric”.
Then again, some journos are just so lazy, they will believe anything they hear from someone whose name begins with “Abu”. I should dress up in long robes and call myself Sheik Abu Jahash el-Sumbluq. I’ll set up my base in a place with lots of radical youth (Byron Bay, perhaps?). Then I’ll start talking about 72 virgins (no, definitely not Byron Bay!).
Within days, terror experts with bad English accents from Sri Lanka will be calling for the government to crack down on my “Sumbluqi” terror cell. The names “Abu Jahash” and “Sumbluq” will become synonymous with nasty beards and accents thick enough to make a convenience store worker sound like Wilson Tuckey.
I reckon it will take 5 months before someone realises that “Abu Jahash” simply means “father of donkey” (perhaps Simpson?). And that el-Sumbluq is simply “Some Bloke” pronounced in an Arabic accent.
Couldn’t the journos have figured it out straight away? What about the ASIO agents and police? They’ll probably only begin to suspect when I introduce my chief courtesan from my Byron harem. Her name? Ms Umm Kalb el-Sumsheila!
But returning to Abu Bakr. I thought he was already jailed by the Indonesians? How come he didn’t appear on the latest episode of Usama’s heavenly-jihad podcast? It just shows how prominent the guy is.
So allow me to state a few things for the record about me and all the other Aussie Mossies who make up more than 50% of Australia’s Muslim population. Firstly, we do not subscribe to any terror podcast.
Secondly, we don’t receive instructions from Usama about how to earn 72 heavenly virgins by blowing ourselves up.
Thirdly, many of us don’t live anywhere near Lakemba.
Finally, on a personal note, please stop trying to pronounce my first name! If you can’t say “Irfan”, just call me Sheik Abu-Bakr Usama Ayatollah-Cola el-Sumbluqwholikessumsheila! That should be easier for the flying-carpet-chasing journos.
(An article of similarly scurrilous content appeared here.)
© Irfan Yusuf 2005