Deliberations With a Friendly Bigot

I’m writing this from Antalya, Turkey. I’m currently on vacation with my girlfriend, and it’s safe to say that minus the horrible stomach aches I get in the mornings from eating like a filthy swine and drinking sub-lethal (or almost lethal) amounts of alcohol – we are having an awesome time, thank you very much.

The purpose of this post is not to tell you how much fun I’m having. That, on its own, is not particularly interesting. I wish to write a few paragraphs about a guy called Safa, he’s our Turkish “special guest” (NO, we did not have a threesome). Einat met Safa this one evening while I was otherwise doing my best not to vomit the copious amounts of vodka I consumed earlier on. They had a friendly chat, and we set up a date for us three later on.

The following evening, Safa, girlie and me met at the main bar, ordered a few drinks, and started chatting away. We also proceeded to rendezvous with two of Safa’s friends from Iran (!!). You’re probably thinking right now: “oh, he had ‘deliberated’ with bigots. He met Iranians, hence title of post, enter altercations by angry Jews and Iranians”.  Nope. First of all, it was almost impossible to communicate any meaninful messages to our two Iranian friends, let alone shout at them with righteous indignation. Their English was quite bad, and other than that, they only speak Farsi, which is utter gibberish to me, pretty much the same way Hebrew is to them.

Anyway, let me tell you a bit about Safa. Safa is a 19 years old (at his age, I was a young IDF soldier) Turkish lad, and a very amiable young fellow, all things considered. Been to places around the world, an avid football (that’s soccer in Yankese) fan and an otherwise very exuberant young fellow. He’s very friendly and outgoing, and he was kind enough to show us around this huge hotel (Topkapi Palace, Antalya) and resort. Two nights ago, he took me to all the clubs and bars, and we had a simply most awesomest time.

Turkey, as it seems, is a Muslim nation. A lot of women are seen wearing Burkhas (although not as many as you’d see in Istanbul, for example, since this hotel is swarming with tourists, not all of them accustomed to female-repressive headgear).

Safa is a rather watered-down version of a secular Muslim. He attends mosques on Fridays (and I’m not even sure he perseveres with that, either), and as he puts it, he’s a fervent believer in the Quran, and has no qualms telling me and my girlfriend that “we’re going to hell, he’s sure of it”.

I asked him if he thinks that people who were born to a Buddhist or Hindu family are going to hell too, even though they’ve never even heard of Allah or the Quran, and are otherwise innocent and good people. He said that nevertheless they are going to suffer for all eternity, because that is what the Quran ordains. So much for Allah the merciful.

He then proceeded to tell me about Turkey’s expansionists fantasies. They intend on reclaiming Bulgaria, to restore Armenian territories (now what does THAT remind me of), and annex parts of Azerbaijan, Anschluss-style. He even showed me a map, denoting the world of this neo-Ottoman empire.

That was quite disturbing, only fun in a “let’s have  a few drinks with this utter idiot” kind of way.

Anyway, otherwise, conversing with him on matters of religion and so on was a combined experience of deliberating with a complete douchbag and having a really lame discussion with an ignorant bigot. To my question: “how do you know that all the other books who say that you’re going to hell are wrong, and yours is right”, he replied: “It is true because the Quran tells me so”. Can you spell “LAME”? At that point, I figured out that I’m talking to a rather ignorant twerp who couldn’t use his brain to think to save his life for it, and have figured that getting more involved in trying to talk sense to him would do more to harm my vacation than bring the light of reason to this guy.

As opposed to Mr. Attaturk here, the two Iranian guys were very nice. One of them was 16 years old, as tall as an Alp, as thin as a scarecrow, and as cheerful and convivial as a semi-sedated bonobo (I’m taking a risk with that analogy, maybe semi-sedated bonobos are angry little bastards).

As I mentioned before, talking with them was very difficult, but we did manage to get things through. First of all, according to them, at least, Iranian people do not actually hate Jews, Israelis, or even Israel itself. Not only that, the older Iranian fellow stressed that the current government is unstable, and he was sure that the election was forged. Conspiracy theories about the election aside, I was very happy to hear from two Iranians that they have no animosity towards me because of my nationality.

Actually, it made me feel really warm and fuzzy inside. Me and the younger Iranian fellow (who spoke even worse English) danced and laughed and had a great time…

Makes you wonder: maybe all of this animus between Iran and Israel is more of a ploy to get rich, fat politician fuckers richer, fatter, and more powerful… And it really has nothing to do with the pawns who dwell in their supposed dominion.

These pawns have nothing against each other, on the contrary. And I wish enough pawns realized that they ARE pawns, and that their kings are to be deposed and replaced by public servants, who have no mandate to tell them who to hate, and definitely no mandate to send them off to kill each other.

Peace. Salaam, and ciao from Turkey.

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