Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Welcome to the Islamic States of America..
It's 2040 and we are in Seattle, the capital of the Islamic Republic and the second half of the Super Bowl is beginning in Khomeini Stadium. The Warlords are playing against the Bedouins, the cheerleaders are men, and the Super Bowl blimp is drifting above the stadium. Emblazoned on the airship is the flag of the Islamic States of America, identical of the banner of the old regime, except for the gold crescent replacing the stars. If you step outside the stadium you can see the Space Needle lying crumpled, a result of a terrorist attack by agents of the Bible Belt states in the South which has become a Christian refuge, while the Grand Caliph Mosque stands beside the new Capitol. Alcohol has been outlawed although you can still enjoy Jihad Cola. Veiled women hurry through the streets, where Black Robes religious laws enforce religious laws while little girls play with Barbie's with a burka. New York, Washington, DC, and Mecca have been destroyed by nuclear terrorist acts that were perpetrated -- so it has been alleged -- by Zionists, while Chicago has become a site of a civil war battle. The aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan has been renamed for Osama bin Ladin, Mount Rushmore has been eradicated, and the most popular radio call-in show is "What Should I do, Imam?" But the Academy Awards still take place and receiving one of the Oscars this year is the first Hollywood actress who had converted to Islam....
To read more about the life in the Islamic Republic, where Christians, mostly Catholics are a protected minority (American Jews have taken refuge in Canada and Russia), read Robert Ferrigno's Prayers for the Assassin, a futuristic thriller-fantasy, which is quite entertaining and frightening. I was actually quite impressed by the way Ferrigno was able to meld in his scenario elements of Islamic and American traditions and produce a vision that sounds even "realistic" if you could imagine that Islam had won in 2015. The main political tensions in the Islamic Republic is between "modern" Moslems (represented by the main character, a secret agent who is a veteran of the Fedayeen) and the fundamentalist types. The plot itself doesn't make a lot of sense; something about a historian trying to prove that the Zionists were not behind the nuclear explosions that led to the collapse of the old USA. I also found it very difficult to buy into the idea that American women would be attracted to the religion of Islam during a time of crisis. It's not as good as Philip Dick's The Man in the High Castle about the United States under Japanese and German occupation following its defeat in WWII. But is's more timely.