The meetings of the Hizb took place at members houses. Our local chapter had been thrown out of mosques, not because of our inflammatory speeches but our habit of leaving chicken and chips cartons behind. This was due to a brother amongst us who took the ‘mobilising the masses’ principle quite literally, and ate constantly. A medical miracle, our ‘big brother’ caused mild consternation to those who did not know him, but he had a minibus which we needed, so we liked him a lot.
The meeting were meant to be segregated by gender. However, sometimes we did not have separate places for meeting rooms, or the microphone/amplifier system broke down, or any number of things went wrong. Our backup system was a brother who we referred as ‘Brother FT’. His father owned a corner shop, and he bought in copies of the Financial Times which he considered to be a particularly hateful publication as it documented ‘the Financial hegemony of the Kuffar. And it is pink, the colour of pigs and homosexualists’. One day a small argument ensued when it became apparent that the colour of the homosexualists had now evolved to a rainbow colour. It was then settled by one of the physics brothers who pointed out that the spectrum contains red, and when the spectrum is merged it makes the colour white. As red and white make pink, so the FT still, in a fashion, could continue to represent the homosexualists. The brother who liked the chicken and chips was getting quite agitated and we didn’t want a scene.
At each meeting, if no barrier was present, Brother FT would lay a quick washing line across the room and clip pages from the Financial Times onto it with clothes pegs. He became very effective at it. I wondered if the Hizb really did manage to control the Muslim superstate, would brother Financial Times march along the borders with his hammer, nails, washing line, pegs and piles of paper, dutifully decrying pigs and homosexualists as he marked out the Muslim border.
After my fourth meeting, I was taken aside by local ameer and told that I was eligible for membership. Up until then, I though I was a member, but no, I was merely an attendee. After becoming a member, I would further have to prove myself. I was quite happy with this. Finally, I had some direction and a clear set of goals. I was destined for greatness, I was convinced of it. My first task was to design a new sticker set for the Hizb. Now, letting the masses know about our message was a key part of our campaign. The old sticker said ‘Khilafah’ but it was felt that was too Arabic, so a new message was need, something that would appeal to the natives.
We had a small focus group brainstorm. I thought of ‘Down with the Imperialistic West with its Military-Industrial Complex and Authoritarian Hegemony! Up with the All-Encompassing Benevolent Muslim Theocratic Superstate with Armed Citizen-Militia and No Standing Army! That didn’t scan well, the group agreed. The chair of the focus group then decided on ‘Putting the phat in Caliphate’ for that streetvibe connecting with the youth thing. We were tired, and brother chicken and chips wanted to get home, so we agreed.
I was in charge of ordering the stickers, and was given an budget. However, the company that processed the printing had offset the stickers so that each one read ‘ate Putting the phat in Caliph’. It was too late. Despite the rather bizarre heading, our website was correct so we began stickering around the lampposts of London. Again, my mind wandered. If the hizb really did establish that state, would we promote new laws by stickering lamposts with ‘Bait-ul-Maal announces increase in child benefit. Logon at www.bait-ul-maal.kh’?
The next meeting I was commended for my effort and enthusiasm in sticking. They were especially impressed with my putting stickers on a homeless person. ‘Brother, in the future, there will be no homeless, as second houses will be abolished’. This statement itself caused a mild argument as one of the sisters had an investment flat in the Barbican and was looking to move into it once she was married. After some calming noises by the local ameer, and the chicken and chips brother standing up and wobbling menacingly, things calmed down. I had passed the first stage. In my next post, I shall show how I passed the second stage, and how I was schooled in the art of convincing people, Hizb style.
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