Somewhere in the western desert of Saudi Arabia, a group of several dozen Sunni Muslims are preparing for their graduation from suicide bomber camp.
“Oh, this is surely a great day for me and my wonderful family,” said Ahmed, one of the soon-to-be-graduates. “My mom, my dad, and all of my 13 or 14 brothers are in attendance today.”
“My family is here, also,” replied Muhammad. “It’s so exciting.”
“Where is Aasim,” inquired Ahmed. “I haven’t seen him since our last rehearsal. I hope he didn’t blow himself up prematurely.”
“Don’t be silly, my friend. Aasim is over there with his family. They haven’t seen each other since his little sister was circumcised last month,” answered Muhammad.
“I hope her infection is better,” replied Ahmed, as he motioned for Aasim to come join them.
“Aasim, my brother! Are you looking forward to this evening’s ceremonious event?” Ahmed asked.
“Oh, indeed I am,” Aasim replied with glee. “Even my little sister is here to show her support, despite still being in some pain down in her private area.”
“Just why do some of our Arab sisters have to be circumcised and have their vaginas sewn shut?” asked Muhammad.
“You know. It’s so they will remain chaste until such time as they are married,” answered Aasim. “Then, their husbands not only get to snip the thread that binds their orifice of pleasure, they also get to remove the veil and finally see what they’re getting.”
Muhammad looked pensive, then said, “But we, my friends, we will never pick a wife. We will be blessed with something much better than an earthly spouse to do our bidding. Allah will grant us the privilege of 73 virgins (or is it 72?), once we carry out our duties here on Earth.”
“I thought it was 84,” Ahmed said, sort of half under his breath. “But 72 is good.”
“Have you finished your valedictory speech, my friend,” Muhammad asked Aasim.
“Oh yes; I finished it up this morning. But I’m not sure about a couple of passages. What do you think?” Aasim scanned through his hand-scribbled speech to find the right paragraph.
“Let’s see…. Dear friends, family members, and fellow terrorists…. Ah, here we are.” Aasim pointed at his paper.
“How does this sound?” he asked his two friends as he read the passage. “This is a truly great day for me, my family, and for Islam. Our cause now has 89 new recruits to fight in the name of Allah, and to die as martyrs. All of us are so looking forward to a life of privilege, though be it a short one, and to our virgins after we ascend. I, for one, am so excited I could explode.”
“Sounds good to me,” said Ahmed.
“Me too. I wouldn’t change a thing,” added Muhammad. “But….”
“But what?” asked Aasim, looking a little worried. “Was it too pointed?”
“No, no Aasim. It was great. I was just thinking, when you mentioned you’re looking forward to your 84 virgins….”
“72,” interrupted Aasim.
“Whatever. …your 72 virgins, I was just thinking; Why do we have to kill ourselves to get virgins. ALL of our unmarried women are virgins. And since we have dominion over them, why can’t we have them here?”
“Well, my brother Muhammad, our virgins have their vaginas sewn shut, remember? And besides, you never know what’s under those burqas,” answered Aasim.
“You are quite right, my friend,” added Ahmed.
About that time the camp general came around the corner of the tent where the boys were talking. He wanted to give them some final encouragement, and their assignments that were to be carried out after graduation.
“My boys!” exclaimed the general.
“General Abdul! It’s so pleasureful for us that you dropped by,” Aasim greeted. “And how are you getting along with Simon?”
The general looked a little embarrassed and then cleared his throat. “I just wanted to give all my favorite students some final encouragement. I also have an important assignment for you, Ahmed.”
“Really, already? That’s…,” Ahmed paused. “…wonderful, sir.”
“We want you to blow up an embassy for us in Northern Ireland,” explained the general.
“Northern Ireland, of all places, uh, sir?” asked Ahmed.
“You just leave the why to me. You just take care of business and those virgins will be yours for all eternity my young hero.”
“I just don’t want there to be any misconception as to who caused the incident,” Ahmed said. “After all, there have been lots of bombings in Northern Ireland anyway. It’s one Christian faction against another.”
“That’s true,” replied the general. “I don’t understand it. If they’re both Christians, why would they fight each other? You won’t find Muslims doing that. Well, except for those damn Shiites.”
“But don’t worry,” he continued. “Allah will know it was you.”
“Is it ok if my good friends Muhammad and Aasim come with?” inquired Ahmed.
“Say what?” inquired Aasim.
“You want to take them with you?” barked the general. “It only takes one driver to drive a car bomb into a building. Why should we waste three good trainees when only one will do? Suicide bombers don’t grow on trees. They’re not a dime a dinar!”
“With all due respect, sir, there are 89 graduates just tonight, and we’re a small group. I don’t think you’ll run out of recruits too soon,” replied Ahmed.
“Well….”, thought the general.
“Besides, I could really use the moral support since this is my first suicide bombing.”
“Well, alright then. All of you!” So the general acquiesced.
“Now, Aasim, are you ready to knock ‘em dead with that valedictory speech of yours?”
“In the name of Allah, you bet I am sir!”
The general walked onto the stage as the boys got in line for the processional.
“Thanks a lot you camel jockey,” spouted Aasim. “I was looking forward to a comfortable life in the United States, training to be a pilot. You cut that dream short.”
“Why the United States?” inquired Muhammad. “It’s so, so capitalistic.”
“Because, it is where the Great Satan lives, W. Bush, along with his spiritual advisor, Pat Robertson. Besides, everyone knows that country was founded on Christianity!”, answered Aasim.
“Sorry to spoil your plans, my friend,” said Ahmed. “But it’ll be fun killing ourselves together; just wait.”
“Yeah, right,” moaned Aasim.