عندما اعتقلتني ميلشيا مسلحة في ليبيا
Then I was the piece of meat that had nothing in its pockets...
Because I am a writer who does not belong to a militia of the rebel militias, I was arrested by an armed militia, whose members did not read a line that I wrote for more than ten years. I knew for two reasons: The first is that they did not know my name as they kicked me while I lay before them as a piece of meat with manacled feet. The second is that I saw their ignorance of what I was saying as they asked me questions none of them really cared about. We spoke the same language, but it was all lost in translation.
We became pitiful, a nation lost in religious zeal, forgot the meaning of good deeds, justice and beauty.
I felt sad but not for myself. It was my birthday, the tenth of October 2014, and because I believe that God does not play with numbers, I knew it was not fair to die on my birthday, it was a good coincidence that I simply did not deserve.
What is happening in #Libya is a flood that brings death, shame and bad luck as well, and whoever survives the first must fall victim to the second and the third together.
The law of God can be summed up in the ability to kill those who do not repeat his words, but one young man truly roused my pity, for he was half my age, his name was Abdullah, (Allah’s slave/servant), they were all named Abdullah!
I knew that day I was right, yes, we had become a pathetic people, a people who had lost so much because of zealotry, we had lost the meaning of goodness, truth and beauty. After they removed the bag off my head, I saw young men with half baked ideas, ideas that each of them holds God in his pocket, and I stood before them because, as they said I was twice the enemy of God and ten times the enemy of the people and the revolution, they spoke sometimes as if they were the people, and spoke other times as if they were God. But then I saw something else I saw the restraints in their hands and tongues. I knew even as I looked at the guns and knives they were threatening to kill me with if i did not confess to something that I am not aware of, that they would die before me because those who carry a rifle will one day inevitably have a bullet kill them.
My country became a Wahhabist colony, a country inhabited by evil people, and few people to supplement the population list, above a large desert where everyone sleeps when they feel thirsty, to forget their thirst through dreams drenched with water. It's worse than a natural disaster, like an earthquake that turns the planet upside down, or a flood that fills the Sahara with salty water and dead fish. I saw this vision ten years ago, but on the day I was abducted it turned into a living reality. The law of God can be summed up in the ability to kill those who do not repeat his words, but one young man truly roused my pity, for he was half my age, his name was Abdullah, (Allah’s slave/servant), they were all named Abdullah!
All these Abdallahs, these servants of God have forbidden everything that one can see through the beauty of the universe, music, shaking hands with women, even their mothers. They were all pathetic as they lined up as pieces of flesh to pray, and behind them my body lay alive until someone decides otherwise. In Libya one plus one does not equal anything and for that reason their number was not real and was not as important as the teenager who held a pistol in one hand and in another a piece of meat from his dinner plate that he flung to a cat that had approached him shaking. It was all about a piece of meat, the one the cat devoured, that piece of meat in the far end of the room, or that praying to the God they thought was in their pocket.
I saw in this angry young man who slapped me, a whole nation driven by hatred that leads to delirium. I saw in Abdullah the fighter everything worth pitying. People are more selfish than to tire themselves searching for the cause of their mistakes. Abdullah was a mistake committed by his parents, the mosque, school and the whole society. What is happening in my country is a flood that brings death, shame and bad luck as well, and whoever survives the first must fall victim to the second and the third together.
You are a dog ...
You are an addict
You are a womanizer
You are an intelligence agent
You are gay
You are an atheist because you do not memorize the Koran
You are an atheist twice because you memorize the Koran
You are a dog for the second time and will ignore the counting
You are the son of a dog
You work with others against us
We are the others
All these charges were raised by the group of the believers in God and the revolution upon me. But the sadistic look in Abdullah's eyes was something else, something that was not as frightening as concerning. I saw this look in the eyes of all those who justify their crimes as not falling within the circle of Halal and Haram determined by the intentions of the head of the printing house of the Dar Al Iftaa in Saudi Arabia.
The way to hell is paved with good intentions, they justify hatred and violence with fatwas that fill mosques with worshipers on Fridays, curse others and even themselves and those who remain silent believe they exercise patience, after they blasted the road to the mosque last Friday with curses.
This is an experience I have lived and I think I have not misunderstood, the experience of unjustified war, and turning a whole generation of children into active militias fighting each other for no reason save a cheap fatwa. Yes, murder can never be justified. I speak of a Wahhabi colony in which the people are transformed into mindless armed pawns, lone wolves, where murder leads to the beginning of life. It is an upside-down world.
After he kicked me in the stomach with his foot, he picked up a knife and started waving it around and it was a painless experience when compared to the stories of the disappeared who found themselves in cells in heavily armed former charity headquarters. I know a friend who spent a whole year locked up in a room, nobody knew who had its keys, because his jailer was not sure how strong his faith was after he tried to measure it with a ruler and failed.
Abdullah was the victim of ignorance, but the worst is to be the victim of the holy ignorance, where all the crimes committed by him are a virtue and he accused me of being an infidel though he never entered my skull to learn how much space my conscience took up and the crimes I committed starting from the graffiti of my friend’s name on a neighbour’s wall all the way to masturbating in order to wearily fall asleep.
He saw the world as a dead, open-eyed rabbit, filling his heart with faith granted by the coincidence of his place of birth, and the place was just a dark well filled with teenagers who continued to do the mistakes they thought would make the world aware of their existence as men who could change this world into paradise, tomorrow.
And tomorrow never comes.....