The Haven
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The Haven

Under Mullah Omar’s One Remaining Eye

An Human Resources Nightmare

Artwork by the Author: انتقام فخوندا (The Revenge of Farkhunda)

The Taliban Revolt!

Mullah Baradar had to attend to a serious personnel problem, which required his immediate return to Afghanistan. Pakistan’s — er um the Taliban’s — war with the feckless Americans was at an inflection point. Again. For the thirty-eighth time in twenty years. Baradar, resentful and truculent, lumbered towards the hujra.

La hawla wala Quwwata! When I was a fighting the Soviets, did I complain? No. I fought in flipflops. In the snow. Having climbed up the mountains and down again. These Gen X mujahideen are not worth the oil my favorite bacchebaaz puts in his hair,” he muttered louder than was prudent.

His irritation with this rebellion was not unmerited. After all, not only had he been the deputy of Mullah Omar (ﷺ), the notoriously reclusive and cycloptic leader movement, he also co-founded the Taliban with the One-Eyed Wonder and had an illustrious career dispatching Soviet infidels to hell. Trudging towards the assembled malcontents, he continued to mumble

“I will dispatch these duffers and loafers to al Baghdadi’s so-called caliphate and see how they like living in a real tyranny!”

Suddenly, he fell quiet and looked around nervously. What if someone overheard him speaking English, which he learned while negotiating with the Americans and staying in the laps of luxuries in Doha?

Baradar was so discomfited by these ingrates that he didn’t even have his fourth cup of watery, cloyingly sweet tea. He worked himself up recalling how such matters are technically Maulana Akhundzada’s job as he is the fancy-pants “Amir al-Mu’minin,” or — as he heard incessantly — “The Commander of the Faithful.” As if these Gen X Talibs are faithful to anything but their own interests. But Akhundzada could not be rousted from his posh safe house in Pakistan’s true capital, Rawalpindi, where Akhundzada waged a relentless and ruthless jihad on endless parades of kabobs, pools of nihari, and piles of nan in the company of the Taliban’s khaki-clad Pakistani capos.

Though he resented Akhundzada’s laze and penchant for luxury, Baradar shouldered this responsibility with aplomb. He departed his functional yet commodious office in Doha for district Deh Rahwood, in Oruzgan province (or his paternal “shithole,” as his hero Sardar Trump would say) to convene an emergency shura of sub-commanders and some of their aspiring, yet apparently agitating, suicide bombers. Pakistan’s intelligence agency called this pow-wow because it had alarming reports of foundering commitment of its rent-a-fighters. Baradar couldn’t say he didn’t enjoy coming home to Oruzgan because spite and irony were two of his favorite English words. It brought him endless joy that his province was famous — no! notorious — for its opulent poppy crop. It was the American infidels who built the province’s irrigation system back in the 1950s. Now this plenteous crop, which was made possible in considerable measure by those do-gooder proto-hippy kafir Americans as well as contemporary inept counter-narcotics measures by the Americans and their NATO chamchas, funded the Taliban’s most extravagant war plans. The Taliban enjoyed conjuring on countermeasures to thwart those insipid Americans and their ceaselessly revolving door for uncountable strategies to strategize.

Outside the hujra of his family’s compound that long hosted manly men from near and far, Baradar took a deep breath, smoothed his verdant beard, and straightened his kameez which was taught over his ample belly. He straightened his posture as he entered the hujra and took his seat on the floor facing the assembled excuses for men. His bodyguards stood behind him, with their guns — purloined from American supply convoy — poised to fire.

“Brothers! I understand from our bigger and more important brothers in Pakistan that many of you are terribly upset. I am sorry that Brother Akhundzada could not make it. I am sure he is quite busy killing kafirs! He must be sending you prayers that you too dispatch kafirs to hell after this meeting, which he thought should have been an SMS. But I am here. Please, my brothers, our fight with the American infidels has reached another inflection point according to Fox News, CNN, the BBC and those other absurd shows that pass for news in the lands of the kafir. We must stay focused and remain prepared to kill them wherever we find them! Only by serving Allah’s grace will you reach the Jannat and be entertained by Allah’s bounty and those famed houris who waiting to please Allah’s faithful mujahideen. What is so important that it has distracted you from this critical juncture in our war to oust these devils from our lands and derail your eventual luxuriating in the arms of Jannat’s houris?”

Mawlawi Mohammed Qais, the head of the Taliban’s military commission in Laghman Province, spoke first.

“Sir! The infidels have told our boys that the suicide bombers cannot have sex with the houris in heaven as their penises will be vaporized in the blast. We have made a sacred promise to our ambitious martyrs that, in heaven, they may disport with the countless maidens who have not been touched by man or djinn! It is written in the Quran, Alhamdullilah!

There was a rumbling among some of the fighters, none of whom could read the Quran. Mutaqir, from Alingar district, become suddenly even more distraught.

“Brother Qais! What do you mean by ‘untouched by man or djinn’? What kind of woman would be touched by a djinn!? How do we know that djinns are not having our wives while we are fighting infidels?”

His fear seemed to resonate with the other fighters who began shouting at Qais for his immediate clarification of this very disturbing point. After all, what man can compete with a djinn? Djinns are so notoriously energetic that a famed Pakistani nuclear physicist, Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood, wrote in his hefty tome titled The Quantum Mechanics of the End of Time, that the energy of djinns could be harnessed to solve the world’s energy problems! He also calculated the exact temperature of hell along with the precise number of angels who can dance on the head of a pin. So, he probably knows a thing or two about math. In fact, Mahmood even met Omar and Osama Brother and tried to convince them to go for nuclear weapons. But, as Baradar thought to himself, what would these duffers do with nuclear weapons? The men were appropriately upset at the possibility of anyone — houris or one of their up-to-four unaffordable wives along with their hungry broods — cavorting with these divine sorts.

Qais attempted to reassure his men.

“Your wives are all faithful Muslim women and wives of brave mujahideen! They would never be tempted by carnal relations with a djinn of all things. And if they did, we would of course stone them to death. So, naturally this question does not arise, brothers!”

It was clear however that the fighters were not thoroughly placated. He tried to reorient the discussion to the precipitating issue: the matter of the would-be-martyrs’ exploded manly bits and how they would fornicate with the houris without those said bits. He did not mention djinns again.

Qais turned to Baradar, who was underwhelmed by these exchanges, and begged him to dispel the concerns of these valiant men that their penises will be intact when they reach heaven such that they can have as much sex as they want with the houris, whom Allah made for no other purpose then their please.

Baradar, tired of the demands of his gaggle of wives, just wanted someone to wash his clothes, make him tea, without nagging about money or whose turn it was to copulate with a man who clearly had a lot of obligations. Who says that having many wives is a good thing, he thought to himself. They are in fact a royal pain in the ass. This is surely why he and every other commander worth the sand in his beard has a small hoarding of catamites. The Hazara boys were a particular delicacy among these hardy Pashtun men with their chinois features and delicate frames. When they danced, they seemed to float across the room amidst swirls of diaphanous scarves of varied hues.

Baradar calmly addressed his charges.

“Brothers! Allah would never deprive you of this important organ! Allah is munificent. He takes care of his shaheeds! You need not worry about such trivial matters. Have faith in the almighty Allah. You will have your penises in heaven, Inshallah.”

But this was not the end of the matter.

Another fighter from Zheray addressed the leaders.

“Esteemed Commanders! Earlier you told us that Pakistan told you to tell us that we should be sure to place our hands on our chest while lowering our heads to ensure that neither survive the blast to frustrate the infidels’ ability to identify us. How is it that our hands and face will be blown apart as we enter heaven, but not our penises? Do you think we are mentally deficient, Sir?”

Baradar and Qais looked at each other awkwardly. The men raised an exceptionally sagacious point. Qais had an idea.

“Brothers! I understand your problem. To facilitate your celestial pleasures upon reaching martyrdom, with immediate effect, all suicide bombers are to encase their penises in steal to protect it from the bomb blast! We shall include this in your suicide deployment packages, effective immediately. There should be no doubt that you will reach heaven with an intact penis.”

Baradar was impressed by Qais’ initiative but wondered who would provide the penis protective equipment? This, fortunately, was not his problem to solve as he would be back in Doha shortly.

He thought to himself with smug diffidence “That Akhundzada asshole can figure it out with his khaki pals over a plate of Haleem in Pindi.”

The men looked at each other with surprised satisfaction. They set out for their operational commands that evening, confident of this salubrious solution. Baradar looked forward to his return journey to Doha. And his Doha-based catamite.

Trouble is Brewing in Paradise

Some months later up in heaven, the houris were disturbed by what they were seeing and had a revolt of their own. They had already protested to Jannat’s management committee that there was a scarcity of houris and that they needed backups. Immediately. There was simply inadequate houri production to keep pace with the faithful momin mards who were detonating themselves in battlefields strewn across the Middle East and Asia with occasional forays into Europe.

All adult houris were exhausted tending to their assigned shaheeds, leaving the barely post-pubescent cohorts to do the needful for which they were woefully ill-prepared and under-trained. Senior houris took this as further evidence of everyone’s indifference to their recruitment problems. It’s as if someone thought celestial maidens grew on trees. Nor did anyone appreciate their value to the great causes of the mujahideen. Yet without the promise of houris, what sane person would blow himself up?

Now, at regular intervals, the juvenile houris’ had to interrupt their game of Frogger or pimple discussions to observe the incoming martyrs’ unusual state of arrival. The houris were always relieved when these rustic martyrs showed up in stray bits and puddles as it really required little of them in excess of basic cleaning. The youngsters had a running joke, which they thought was funny.

One young maiden would ask “How do you satisfy a puddle of martyrs?” Without missing a beat, another would belch out “Put a mop in it!” Then they’d both laugh uproariously and return to whatever video game was on hand.

However, these days, the martyrs landed in heaven as hopping penises! One groused to her forewoman, “This is ridiculous.” Disappointed the boss-lady missed the pun, she tried to explain that it was, “you know, ri-dick-ulous,” to no avail. So she continued “There must be some limit to the outrages we suffer! First puddles and now this?”

After some time and after numerous hobbling — but mercifully mute — penises accumulated in the back of paradise, entire houri workforce assembled to conduct their own shura during which they would contemplate how they would handle this latest challenge with the state of arriving shaheeds.

They all agreed after intense scrutiny that the Houri Guidebook to Pleasuring Shaheeds In Paradise: Volumes 1 through Six offered no guidance.

One houri queried “How are these shlongs empirically distinct from say, a cucumber or a carrot?” Another grinning houri added enthusiastically “Or…a long zucchini or a fat loki or a…big, bumpy karela?”

After a reasonable airing of grievances and entreaties, the head houri silenced her bewildered underlings.

“Sisters! I’ve pondered this considerably. The fact is that these fellows are just a bunch of useless dicks, expecting us to be impressed. Clearly, we are not. So it is obvious that these dicks are not our problem until given contravening guidance. Also, we are worked to the bone already.”

With that matter settled, the nubile houris returned to their Nintendo and arguing the pros and cons of various acne treatments while the older houris pleasured themselves with a book, a cocktail, or even a mercifully silent cucumber.



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