I, along with millions of Muslims across the country, have to give it up for Indiana Governor Mike Pence and his merry band of liberty-loving Republicans in the state legislature. The “religious liberty” law they recently enacted may be causing an uproar, but for us Muslims, it means we can now finally impose sharia law in Indiana!
I’m not sure who is happier, the Wiccans or us? As The Daily Beast’s David Freedlander wrote on Tuesday, the Wiccans are loving this law. Okay, actually they think it’s a “horrible” law because of its potentially discriminatory impact against the LGBT community. But as Dusty Dionne, High Priest and High Summoner of the Aquarian Tabernacle Church of Washington State, told Freedlander, “If they are going to open up this can of worms, we are going to shove it right in their face.” There has to be one Muslim Wiccan out there who is truly delirious with joy. (Although I’m not sure technically if such a combo is possible.)
In any event, while the NCAA, Apple, and others may be thinking of steering clear of the Hoosier State, we Muslims are coming. Think a caravan of wagon trains heading to the Midwest in the 1800s, but this caravan will be all Muslim, and we will be coming to the state in everything from Mercedes-Benzes to taxicabs.
Some might be asking, could Muslims really impose sharia law in some fashion in Indiana—turning Indiana into a mini Muslim caliphate? Well, the Indiana law doesn’t just provide “religious liberty” for Christians. It provides “liberty” for all faiths, and that includes us Muslims. (Yes, that shrieking sound you heard was from the Christian conservatives who championed this law intending it to truly only benefit fellow Christians.)
So what does the law provide? Simply that the government can’t “substantially burden” our religious practice unless it can prove that doing so “(1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.”
Bottom line: There are now so many things we can do in Indiana that we are not able to do in the rest of America. For starters, it’s time for me to go wife shopping. You see, I can have up to four wives in my faith. I truly can’t think of any “compelling governmental interest” that could prevent that.
I can’t wait to see the face of the conservatives who refused to bake a cake for a gay couple when I say I want a cake for my heterosexual marriage and they smile. And then I add, it’s so I can take a third wife. Wonder how they will react?
Maybe we can get deals on wedding dresses if we buy three or four at a time? Sorta like the great deals at Costco when you buy in bulk. And the upside for Pence and his right-wing comrades is the expected wedding industry boom in Indiana from all these Muslims weddings. It could possibly even make up the revenue Indiana will lose if in the future the NCAA refuses to hold its annual basketball Final Four there or the NFL says no more Super Bowls.
And wait until we start blasting our calls to prayer (known as the Adhan) five times a day across the Hoosier state. The first one, known as Fajr, is right before sunrise. Nothing says “wake up, Indiana!” like a man calling out in Arabic at 5 in the morning for everyone to come pray. And to show our appreciation, after each sunrise prayer, we can use the statewide sound system to thank Mike Pence by name.
Plus if you come to any of our restaurants you better say, “As-Salaam-Alaikum.” Look, it’s either “submit or no shawarma.” And if you try to sue us because you are upset we are forcing you to say this, well, guess what, the Indiana law offers us a defense to that because saying “peace be with you” is part of our religion.
This is only the tip of the iceberg of “Muslim stuff” we will be joyfully imposing—I mean, practicing—in Indiana thanks to the GOP. I asked my Muslim friends via social media what else the good people of Indiana can expect to see in the near future. So here you go:
· Allow wudhu (the washing before our prayers) in public fountains. Think the opening of the TV show Friends with the cast frolicking in public fountains, but instead it will happen five times a day and feature a much more racially diverse group of people.
· Stop paying interest on credit cards and mortgages. To some Muslims, interest payments (known as “riba”) are considered a violation of Islam.
· All Cracker Barrels must be halal—hope you like turkey bacon on your BLT.
· Being permitted to take naps during the month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast.
· Bidets in every public bathroom. (This was a popular suggestion.)
· Nobody is allowed to walk in his house with shoes on. (OK, this isn’t based on the religion but culturally is a big one for many Muslims, so why not?)
· Randomly show up to pray in offices of Republican representatives.
And the list goes on.
I’m sure the conservatives who passed Indiana’s SB 101, especially the three despicable anti-gay bigots who stood behind Pence cheering him on when he signed this law, never expected that they would be turning Indiana into a Midwestern mecca for Muslims. But here’s hoping other Republican state legislatures do the same thing soon. Before you know it we will be hearing the call to prayers across the nation. I especially can’t wait until it comes to Texas!