Muslims Flee in Groves to Canada after GOP Takes Control Over House and Senate

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Nov 062014
 

Muslims Flee in Groves to Canada after GOP Takes Control Over House and Senate

By Ray Hamza

@TheOkraNews

#MuslimsLoveRepublicans

Muslims to CanadaDC—Just hours after Tuesday night’s announcement that Republicans would have majority control over the House of Representatives and Senate, American Muslims began to pack their bags, rent out their homes and drive to the only country which they consider safe—Canada.

“I’m not going to deal with this shit again,” said Selmaan Ansari, Press Secretary of the Islamic Action Committee for Political Rights (IACPR) at its Georgetown headquarters, referring to the 2002 GOP controlled Congress which spiked an increase of Muslim discrimination, profiling and Senator John McCain publicly singing “Bomb Iran” a parody to the Beach Boys 1965 cover classic “Barbara Ann.” Ansari echoed sentiments by many Islamic organizations who have been subtly requesting a short hiatus for all Muslims to leave the United States and head to the Great White North.  “Look, I know it’s not convenient for many of us who are working and raising families in this country. But do we really want to hear the incessant banter about the invasion of Sharia law and supposed new Al-Qaeda high school recruits from this obnoxious bunch for the next two years? Not me. I hear Winnipeg is lovely in Spring.”

While the GOP is not the only political party that has frowned upon the rise of Islam in the United States, it’s safe to say that all the others are GOP affiliates. From Oklahoma Rep. John Bennett cautioning people to be “wary” of Muslims, to Rep. Renee Ellmers of North Carolina equating all Muslim-Americans with the terrorists who committed the September 11th attacks, the Right has not been a friend to many. Mid-term key victories by Republicans this past week have created stress and paranoia for many Muslims who don’t want to be a part of another Spanish Inquisition.

“Right now I’m not thinking about the economy or the loss on financial aid for education. I’m thinking on how fast I can get to the Canadian border,” said Arif Hania, a mechanical engineer for Kimberley Clark and a resident of Savannah, Georgia. “Because tomorrow, Congress will pass a law that being a Muslim is anti-American and all the red-necks this part of the country are going to get medieval on me real quick.”

“While we advocate democracy and comply by the laws of this fine country with regards to the liberty of voting and free elections, we also recognize the need to get the hell out of here,” said Ibrahim Khan, President of the United Alliance of Muslim Americans (UAMA) in Phoenix. UAMA held a press release Thursday morning concerned with the impact a Republican led Congress (the largest number of seats since WWII) would do to Islam in America. Khan stressed the anxiety Muslims have had with the GOP citing a 2013 article in the Washington Times which reported the lack of trust between the two. “Honestly, I’m sure many Republican politicians have no issues with Muslims. But they usually make a cattle-call to all the nuts in this country firing them up with crazy rhetoric on American values and the need to maintain the evangelical way. That’s how they get votes.”

In Ottawa, the Canadian Parliament was overwhelmed and dumbfounded by the sudden influx of Muslims. Many were surprised by the large numbers crossing the border, with some immediately looking for jobs. “I guess we’re flattered, eh?” said Brian LeClaire, a member of the New Democratic Party Caucus in Manitoba who was unaware of the now labelled, American-Muslim Diaspora. “I’ve been getting a lot of calls from border patrol complaining of cars backed up for 10 miles fighting to get in. “Finally Canada is getting respect.”

Not all Muslims decided to take an absence of leave in another country. The Mumin mosque of Pittsburgh is encouraging people to stay and work with the fresh batch of incoming Republican Congressmen in order to eradicate usual stereotypes and misconceptions of Islam. After prayer services on Wednesday night, Imam Muhammad Al-Sheikh spoke on the necessity for all Muslims to stay in the United States and to continue the endeavor of working with everyone regardless of denomination or political party. Only two people were in attendance.

 

Oct 022014
 
abdullah

Zebras on Parade: How a Monday Night Officiating Crew Brought Islam Forever into America’s Greatest Game

By Yunus Ansari

@TheOkraNews

#HusainAbdullahNFL

abdullahYou have to practically be Gandhi-like in order to love an officiating crew. The sport is irrelevant. It could be Ping-Pong. If there is an umpire, official, a judge, odds are someone, if not many, are going to have an underlying animosity towards them. They’re blind as bats we’d like to say. Back in the day when people actually got together for games at homes or bars, there was always bonding over how much a referee blew a call. There was the time when 12-year-old Yankee fan Jeffrey Maier assisted in Derick Jeter’s catchable hit by interfering in Orioles Tony Tarasco’s catch. The kid basically went down low to grab the ball and in front of the right fielder’s glove. Umpires called it a homerun. Maradonna’s Hand of God goal in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinal; he obviously touched the ball. But the ref never called it. England will never forget. And of course there is the 2000 Music City Miracle, when during the playoffs, the Tennessee Titans allegedly threw an illegal forward pass, but was ruled a lateral by the line judge which resulted in (yet another) disaster for the Buffalo Bills. These were huge, once in a lifetime moments. Not all plays have such an impact—but the feeling of an alleged blown call at any level is comparable. The not-so irony is most of the time, the refs are correct. They have to be otherwise they couldn’t do their jobs.

In recent years, Twitter and Instagram have allowed for the vortex of tweets and posts to demonize them. One demographic who surly has no issues demonstrating their passion for sports not to mention scapegoating the officiating crew is the beloved Muslim community. Now comfortably established as a second generation in this country, Muslims are as passionate as anyone when it comes to sports. They live and breathe it. They cheer when they win. They cry when they lose. They don’t like each other. You ever been to a Michigan-Ohio State game? It applies to Muslims too. Only in America—and it’s beautiful. And just like many Americans, they blame the refs rather prematurely and quite often. Scan your Muslim sports enthusiasts on your newsfeed and it’s guaranteed many will complain shamelessly about the officiating. Never mind his team is losing by 50 points in the 4th. You cannot avoid the backlash that is generated from the feeling of frustration. So when Kansas City Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah intercepted a careless Tom Brady pass, ran it back to the house for a meaningless touchdown and performed a sajadah last Monday night only to be called for unsportsmanlike conduct, two things unfolded: 1. A social media riot; and 2. The new connection with Islam and the NFL.

Like riding a psychotic horse which reverses its course and runs back towards the burning barn, things got crazy. Scores of Muslims were upset by what they saw as a condescending Islamaphobic assault. They derided the call and pointed at former Florida Gator great but NFL bust Tim Tebow who often would kneel and show his gratitude towards the heavens after scoring. They avoided any transparency by declaring Abdullah’s actions as an indictment (though not an attack) on Islam.  Once again the zebras were on the hunt—and all because of a mistake.

Sean-Smith--21--Husain-Abdullah--39-jpgBut when one sits back and takes it all in can the moment be magical. Abdullah’s gesture was not just a celebration. It was a revelation. For perhaps the first time on one of the biggest stages, millions of Americans witnessed a Muslim’s humility by dropping to his knees and paying his respects to God. The act itself showed commonality among many who hold religion and sports sacred. It showed virtue and conviction of a higher power. It even silenced the conservatives, anti-Islamists, Bill Maher and Fox news for a minute. Abdullah prostrating in the end zone echoed a sentiment that an individual cannot be scorned or vindicated for being thankful, only adored. Andy Reid, head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs later obscurely said about Abdullah:

“When you go to Mecca, you should be able to slide wherever you want,” Reid said after the game. “We’ve got two priests in here. They’d probably vouch for me.” We’re not sure exactly what he meant. But a ballpark interpretation would be that Reid supported Abdullah’s right to bow his head to the Almighty after a great play. As far as the far-fetched assumptions, some Muslims were trying to rally around, let’s review them:

  • The call was made out of rejection. In reality the refs probably had no idea what a sajadah was up close and personal. They were baffled and deduced Abdullah’s move as breaking an NFL rule which reprimands any player who drops to his knees in an act of celebration.
  • The NFL prohibited Abdullah’s prayers. In reality, the NFL allows a spiritual nod or signal. It has for decades. Within hours of the game the NFL overruled the call on the field. No monetary or disciplinary fine was given.
  • The NFL demonstrated hypocrisy by allowing certain religious movement to be acceptable while punishing others. In reality, neither the NFL nor the officials were knowledgeable about prostrating to God in Islam. They plead ignorance not vindictiveness. There was no double standard. That can only happen if the league purposely punished Abdullah knowing well his celebration was religious. The Council on American Islamic Relations immediately notified the NFL last Tuesday and insisted the policy on prayer should be clarified. The NFL admitted the error and apologized.

Who knows if a Muslim ever gets the chance to celebrate religiously again and if the refs make another “mistake.” Maybe. Odds are it will be a long time before another one scores in football. NBA Muslim players, all two of them, don’t celebrate after points because there is no time to celebrate. And there are no self-acknowledging Muslims in professional baseball. But it doesn’t matter. History was made on Monday Night Football.  The NFL and other sports organizations now have an obligation to teach, as laughable as it may sound, religion in their officiating programs. It also means fans and advocacy groups can’t get riled up towards the officials. Give them time to figure it out. The best thing to do is to go back and blame the zebras for all the other botched calls they intentionally plan to make next Sunday—and thank them for bringing Islam to the game.

Breaking News: Tariq Ramadan agrees to attend ISNA Convention pending changes

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Aug 282014
 

Breaking News: Tariq Ramadan agrees to attend ISNA Convention pending changes

Tariq Ramadan in TV debate on minarets in SwitzerlandLast month, Dr. Tariq Ramadan, a prominent Islamic scholar and leader from Switzerland, surprised Muslims in North America with a public announcement. In an open letter, he noted that he would not attend either the ISNA or RIS Conventions this year due to concerns he had with each organization. Dr. Ramadan explained his positions in the form of a public letter. ISNA responded back to his concerns, which focused  mostly on their stances on domestic and foreign policy. It was rumored that there might be discussions between the two parties to reconcile these, as well as several other smaller issues, that bothered Dr. Ramadan about ISNA. Using it’s extensive global resources, the Okra staff has obtained private correspondence between both sides. Dr. Ramadan has agreed to attend this year’s convention pending certain conditions. Below is an excerpt:

Change Themes.  Let’s start with your convention theme. Do you guys really think anyone pays attention to this stuff?  I’ll give $100 right now to anyone who can name the last five years themes without searching. Look, the conference is identical every year. Why make up an illusion like people are changing the world every time they register for the ISNA Convention? Keep it real. Here’s a suggestion. If you want to make it dramatic, just use Roman Numerals like the Super Bowl. ISNA XIV. Classy.

Better Entertainment. Hey, I’m all for good, clean fun, but it doesn’t have to be lame.  Some of the comedians keep saying the same jokes every year, and they weren’t funny to begin with. Does “how many ways to say Assalamu Alaikum” sound funny to you?  As for the music, does everyone have to sing corny songs about Islam? Can’t we just enjoy quality music by Muslim performers that’s relatively wholesome?  I like the way my man, Cat, I mean Yousef Islam does it. “Peace Train” was sweet.

Better Questions. I have always valued sharing knowledge with those who pursue it. Yet, when I go to ISNA—actually Muslim event in America—I get strange vibes…like Muslims think I’m a rock star.  Groupies want photo ops to post on Facebook to say they know me. And then there are “The Poets” who gather after speeches amongst a small crowd of people to greet me. They pose as if to ask a question, but all they’re doing is trying to impress me and the crowd with some deep, fancy-worded, overly philosophical, abstract remark, which says nothing…except how deep they are. All they’re really showing is that they’re vain and must have recently studied for the SAT’s, based on their choice of obscure words. Lastly, there are the Seekers who want me to provide them with answers to all of life’s questions. Look, I’m happy to discuss geo-political issues and address some aspects of spirituality. But I’m not the Messiah and there’s no reason to hang onto every word.  Sometimes, I feel like making up stuff with random words—like Steve Martin in “Leap of Faith”—just to see how far it goes. I’d like personal assistants who can screen out all of the above. And Muslim Americans need to cut the hero worship. Creepy!

Follow Up Calls: You know, a lot of claims are made in these conferences. At seminars, workshops. and main events. By speakers, as well as some in the audience who gather after the program ends. So how many do anything after they get home? Is going to ISNA itself their idea of Islamic work or do they learn and apply things. I’d like follow up calls. Anyone who boasts about all the things they’re going to do should be on this list.

My Original Concerns. All the things I wrote about ISNA’s stances and being silent on critical issues are serious concerns. I appreciate the efforts you’ve made since my remarks. There’s still a lot more to do and we can discuss these…but I’ll work with you.

Muslim Convert Chokes on ‘Angry’ Tongue, Says One Too Many Words in Arabic

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Jun 192014
 

Muslim Convert Chokes on ‘Angry’ Tongue, Says One Too Many Words in Arabic

By Riaz Quttub

@TheOkraNews

iowa man 2Iowa City, (IA)—A man was given CPR after he choked on his tongue while trying to enunciate a lengthy sentence in Arabic during a speech yesterday.

Muslim covert Abdul Hakim Mujahid- Ibn Saud Hamada, or better known as Frank Johnson, fell to the floor grabbing his neck and trying to pry his tongue from his esophagus. Witnesses say the incident occurred after he went over three minutes speaking in fluent Arabic. Johnson, a Cedar Rapids native showed no signs of any health related symptoms prior to taking the stage.

“One minute he was speaking casually and the next he’s on the ground struggling to breathe,” said Lewis Zaid Muhammad, who was in the front row when Johnson convulsed into spasms. “I think it had to do with all the Arabic he was trying to speak. I didn’t think it was necessary.”

Arabic arguably is considered one of the hardest languages to speak as it has a complex and unusual method in constructing words from basic root. Often times, new Muslim converts who wish to either study Islam in the Middle East or to act cool usually have struggled phonetically conveying Arabic with clear enunciation. Those who do usually will provide a few sentences before their tongue tires out and gets angry from the thickness and glossiness of verbs and nouns. However, Johnson felt comfortable rambling on a littler longer and showed no signs of verbal strain.

“There was a moment where I felt really good and the Arabic was just flowing through my mouth,” said Johnson who was later taken to Cedar Sinai Hospital and placed in critical but stable condition. “Then my tongue just flaked out and I couldn’t breathe.”

Johnson gives the thumbs up that his tongue is no longer a threa

Johnson gives the thumbs up that his tongue is no longer a threa

Johnson was the keynote speaker at the 5th annual Association of American Muslim Converts (AAMC) conference.  The 38 year-old Product Manager for manufacturing equipment dealer Caterpillar, was invited to address the 200 participants who had come from across the Midwest to partake in the conference which discusses issues on assimilation for individuals who have recently embraced Islam.

“Sometimes, the khhhh and the ghhha became hard words to use,” said Dr. Ibrahim El-Moussa, a Linguistics expert who works for Rosetta Stone. “Old Arabic which you find in the Quran is even harder, so when you try to use the words for longer periods of time, the tongue of a Westerner has no idea what’s going on and either faints or attacks. It’s scary.” El-Moussa stated he had been told of similar accounts where tongues couldn’t handle the intensity of twisting around at such a high interval. The mind eventually cuts off the nerve communication and the tongue goes rogue. “It’s more common than you would think.” Johnson agrees.

“I gambled on speaking Arabic like a native Arab and it backfired,” said Johnson. I’m not about to try and impress anyone again because it doesn’t pay. I have never had my tongue do that—it’s like it got mad at me for playing a bad joke on it.”

California Fashion Magazine Launches Burqini Swimsuit Issue—ooh La La…?

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Feb 062014
 

California Fashion Magazine Launches Burqini Swimsuit Issue—ooh La La…?

By Nazia Ali

Twitter@theokranews

BURQINI MUSLIM FASHIONLos Angeles (CA)—In a strategic move which has caused a little controversy but received much appreciation, Los Angeles fashion magazine Mirage launched the release of their first ever Burqini swimsuit issue.

The Burqini, which is considered a permissible full body swimsuit used in lieu of more revealing apparel such as the one-piece or the extremely popular bikini, has been a hit with Muslim women in Europe and certain countries in the Middle East. Originally designed by Lebanese-Australian Aheda Zanetti, Burqinis are full body suits with built-in neoprene hoods which prevent the hair from being disclosed.

Mirage, which has been capturing slick global clothing trends from polka dot hijabs to one-eyed Niqabs since 2000 believed it was the right time for the United States to start recognizing the latest and greatest in Muslim swimsuits which shows  women, known as Burqini Babes, in arguably the most conservative sea-wearing apparel.

“This is really taking it to the next level and needed for Muslim women in this country,” said Rommana  Diab, President of Mirage, who also mentioned circulation has already gained 1,000,000 subscribers both for the hard copy and digital edition of the magazine. “There are lots of girls that want to hit the sand for fun in the sun but are cautious with how they look. We think this swimsuit issue is going to give them confidence to get on the beach and feel proud of their bodies.”

USA FRANCE BURQUINI BANNEDMirage’s swimsuit issue, titled “Khalifornia Girls”, features models in motley colored Burqinis playing, surfing and frolicking along the Redondo, Santa Monica and Venice shorelines. Despite considerations given to other regions in the country, Photography Director Dee Dee Rahman thought it best to debut the stylish swimsuits in the place where it all started.

“We’re Californians and kind of know that this is the epicenter of the swimsuit fad,” she said.  It’s only right our Burqini babes get their start here as well.”

Although the magazine caters to women, men have been avid purchasers. “Wow, they look real good,” said Hamza Hamdani, a 33 year-old orthodontist from Irvine.  “My glasses are starting to fog up with every turn of the page.” However everyone is not pleased with the swimsuit edition.

“I don’t understand why we always have to copy what everyone else is doing,” said Murad Hazakawai, Chairman for the Orange County Islamic Foundation (OCIF). “Sports Illustrated has their swimsuit edition. ESPN does the Body Issue. Now we have Burqini Babes? Come on man.”

But Diab refutes any reference to just another sexy magazine which objectifies women. “How can you objectify a woman when she isn’t showing anything? Hey if guys like it, all the more power. But we’re not being trashy.” She also denied reports Mirage was producing a Burqini Babes video featuring the 2003 Snoop Dogg summer hit “Beautiful.”

“I’m very proud that I participated in the issue,” said Sameera “Sammy” Samdani, a 23 year-old who was selected as one of just 12 Burqini Babes. “It was tough to get up every day at 5 am and head down to the beach. I figure I’m going to do this for some time since my job now is to look pretty in a Burqini. Besides daddy is a millionaire so I don’t have to do real work.”

While Burqinis have not become mainstream, the few women who have been sighted donning the suits have had no problems with the American public. “Well they’re kind of wearing what I imagine a Navy SEAL would have on when conducting training in the water. I don’t think I’d buy the magazine. But as far as I’m concerned it’s alright with me if women want to wear it,” said David Stubbard, a retired surf instructor from Laguna Beach.

No upcoming events have been planned to celebrate the issue, but Mirage plans to take the Babes on tour in the spring for calendar signings and fashion shows at Meena bazaars throughout the country.

 

BREAKING NEWS: Santa Claus Prays with Muslims at Friday Congregation

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Dec 192013
 

BREAKING NEWS: Santa Claus Prays with Muslims at Friday Congregation

santa and muslim kidsTroy, MI — In what surly turned heads and opened mouths in astonishment, a 49 year-old Muslim man attended Friday prayers donning a classic Santa outfit.

Kamran Bashir, a Senior Electrical Engineer for Motorola, walked into the Islamic Association of Greater Detroit in Rochester Hills out of breath and wearing the red sash clothes made famous by the fictional Kris Kringle, better known to people all over the world, as Santa Claus.

“I didn’t know what to make of it,” said Imam Faidi Tamim. “Here we are getting into the deep discussion on the importance of giving during the Holliday season when Santa Claus pops in. Strange.”

“Who does he think he is?!” said Mustak Patel, a regular on Fridays. “If he thinks he’s getting milk and cookies, he’s got another thing coming.”

Bashir had spent his morning buying Holliday gifts for colleagues at the Sunset Plaza Center in Troy when he noticed a handful of people complaining santamuslimkids2at the Winter Festival kiosk that the Santa Claus which the mall hires out each year for children to visit and provide their list of toys, was absent. Mall authorities were later informed the hired Santa help, Sean Richter, 47, of Royal Oak, had been on a 12 hour bender of binge drinking and was extremely hungover to attend the event.

With upset children and a growing number of frustrated parents, Bashir sprung into action and asked if he could act as the temporary Santa. Superviser of store operations Kirk Nelson said they didn’t have much of a choice despite the awkwardness. “In hindsight I don’t think he would have been our first pick, considering he doesn’t look like any of the Santas we’ve had in years past,” said Nelson who politely inferred that Bashir was brown as opposed to the traditional caucasian Santa, which ironically, became a heated media controversy last week when Fox News anchor Megyn Kelley humorously stated on her segment that Santa was indeed, a white person. But Nelson applauded Bashir’s help. “He really did come through. I mean there were other men here who could have done it, but no one stepped up to the plate. To me, he’s a hero for all the kids.”

Bashir, who became so absorbed in the role of playing Santa, realized he was running late to Friday prayers (commonly referred to as Jummah) and got into his car and drove to the mosque not aware he was still wearing the outfit. “I totally forgot what I was wearing, until I ran into the prayer room and everyone looked at me in horror,” said a bewildered Bashir. “I tried to play it cool and ignore the stares but I was getting flushed. Plus its so hot wearing that beard. Very unpleasant.”

Indian Santa ClauseAfter the sermon and prayers concluded, Bashir, now the first Muslin on record to have prayed in a Santa Claus outfit, attempted to get out of the room as quickly as possible but was mobbed by children, all requesting gifts. The scene turned into a frenzy as some men and women scolded him, insisting that he leave with his “reindeers before they throw him down a chimney.”

However, as most of the adults eventually departed, some mothers kept their kids around to meet and speak with Bashir. “Honestly, at the end of the day, Santa Claus is more for the kids than any religious reference,” Halima Wajeed, a resident of Bloomfield Hills. “People just need to relax a little bit. Besides, as a Muslim, Kamran was doing he is duty. There is no clause, no pun intended, that says he can’t pray as Santa. ”

Bashir says he has no plans anytime soon of becoming a regular Santa at Sunset Plaza, but that if they need him he’s ready on standby, just so long as its not on Friday.

Nov 222013
 

Sunday School Teacher Tries to Show Foolishness Playing the Lottery, Wins Big Time—Not Giving Up the Money

By Nazia Ali

Florida 2 lotteryJupiter, FL— A Muslim Sunday School teacher, who attempted to demonstrate the stupidity of playing the Florida State Lottery, won $15 million last Saturday night, when all numbers on his ticket hit.

Sameer Bashiri, a resident of Jupiter and an electrical engineer for Siemens, went wild according to his wife, after the last number, which happened to be 18, popped out of the ping pong ball air machine. “He could not stop screaming,” Mona Bashiri said.”It was as if someone lit his boxers on fire.” Mrs. Bashiri said her husband completely became hysterical and started talking to the ticket after he settled down, caressing and calling it his baby.

Bashiri, 56, who volunteered as a history teacher for 10th grade students at the Islamic Center of Palm Beach (ICPB) had been a fervent opponent of gambling especially with the lottery which Bashiri called the “Devil’s Slot Machine.” In July of this year, as an act of defiance, Bashiri refused to teach Hussein Rehab, a student who was given a lottery ticket from his older brother, even though no one, not even Rehab believed he had a chance to win. According to the New York Times, the odds of winning a 6 draw power ball lottery are 1 in 175 million. While Rehab did not win, he was suspended from the class, as Bashiri was adamant of having no association with a degenerate.

Last Sunday afternoon, Bashiri walked with his students to a local 7-Eleven, purchased a lottery ticket for $1 then went on to admonish the dangers of gambling and its prohibition in Islam. He then rambled on to point out how a small piece of paper made people act crazy and tense because they believed they would become rich. When one student asked what he would do if he were to win, Bashiri laughed and said according to multiple sources, “there’s no way I’m going to win—but if I did, I will donate all the money to some non-Muslim charity.”

However, at a press conference yesterday afternoon, Bashiri’s lawyer, Vince Riablo, said his client has no intention of giving up the money. When told of the ICPB’s board threat to remove Bashiri from his position as a teacher if he does not surrender his winnings, Riablo confirmed Bashiri wasn’t concerned at all. “Yeah, I don’t think he gives a shit.”

21 year-old Sumaiya, Bashiri’s oldest daughter, said her father’s new multi-millionaire status has put him on a  bender, which has included purchasing a Yacht, a Llama, owning all the publishing music rights to Florida hard-rock band Creed and partying with Lebron James. “If anyone wants to see my dad, they just have to turn on the television and watch the Miami Heat games. He sits on the bench with all the players. I would say its an understatement to say he’s having the time of his life.”

So far whereabouts of Bashiri have been unsubstantiated but reports had relocated to Ibiza where he plans to start a new career as a DJ.

Nov 082013
 

Houston Imam Gets Hooked, Cooked and Fried in Unbelievable Catfish Hoax

By Farookh Balsarah 

Houston, TX—Move over Manti Te’o. You’ve got company.

imam in shock after MTV show Catfish shows up at his doorA prominent young and upcoming Imam who was hailed as the Hamza Yusuf of his generation has taken an indefinite leave of absence from chaplain duties at his mosque after a popular television program discovered the alleged woman he met online and planned to marry, turned out to be a 48 year-old male Pakistani cab driver from Chicago.

Faisal Kazmi, the Imam at the Islamic Society of The Woodlands, an affluent suburb of Houston, was in shock when the staff of Catfish, the wildly successful MTV show which investigates suspicious predators of online dating, showed up at his house with the bad news that the beautiful and good-hearted girl of Oakbrook, Illinois he met through a friendly internet chat was in fact, Hamid “Boats” Boatwalla, of West Rogers Park, Chicago.

Said Boatwalla laughing hysterically , “this was the greatest prank I have ever pulled off in my life! I can’t tell you how many Facebook friend requests I’ve gotten since last week. How do you you like them apples!”

5809_Abu_Dhabi_Taxi_Driver

Hamid “Boats” Boatwalla– I’ve made so many friends as a result of this prank!

“This is super embarrassing” an emotional Kazmi said. “I thought she was real. We had plans to get married, start a family and lecture one other. I can’t believe it was some dude who drives taxis. I got totally catfished.”

“He was pretty devastated,” said Quinn Halliday, associate producer of Catfish, who indicated Kazmi, 25, started to sweat profusely when the findings report was disclosed. “I thought he was going to faint.”

The story began almost 6 months ago when Kazmi was on a WebEx forum explaining Islamic banking with a group of Muslims. One individual, a person by the name of Shakka Khan from Dallas, was very eager to listen to him.

“I didn’t think anything of it at first and was flattered that this Muslim woman was asking me all these questions on Islamic mortgages, which personally makes no sense to me, but was doing my best to provide her with information” said a still devastated Kazmi smoking a Newport. “It felt great to be important and people can count on your knowledge for spiritual guidance.” Eventually, both Kazmi and Shakka exchanged contact information which soon matured into emails, swapping photos and online chats. According to Kazmi, it felt real. “I can’t tell you how excited I was about all of this.”

New-Beautiful-Islamic-Hijab-Veil-Trends-Muslim-Women-2013-5

The first picture sent from Shakka Khan to Kazmi.

Kazmi acknowledged that texting and tweeting soon turned into phone calls. “She had the sweetest voice,” he cringed. “If your back was turned and he sang  “Single Ladies”, you would swear that it was Beyonce.”

After 7 weeks, the Houston native and graduate of Baylor decided he was ready to take it to the next step requesting to meet her several times in some public setting. But Shakka allegedly was shy and did not want to rush into things. Kazmi needed help. He decided to seek out his Uncle for advice. “I told him that I love Shakka! He told me that he did too. I was confused with his comment until he told me about Shakka Khan, the popular 80s platinum R&B artist. And then it just hit me.”

With the help of some friends, Kazmi decided to contact the producers of Catfish, who were intrigued by the story.  “Quinn [Halliday] and I just looked at each other and we kind of knew where this was going,” said Michael Olsen, co-producer. “Shakka Khan-wow.” After conducting some research and internet forensics, the Catfish crew tracked down the cabbie to be the originator of the hoax.

Boatwalla, who proudly confessed to the prank couldn’t believe how long the gag lasted. “I’m baffled man. I mean here’s a guy who obviously is smart, grounded and very disciplined. Love is truly blind.”