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|Where Have All the Muslims Gone?
The 2018 Hashmi Award
by Susie Day
New York, N.Y., 2018 -- Every year about this time, since way back in 2013, the City of New York has bestowed its prestigious Hashmi Award upon a worthy New York resident who lives openly as an observant Muslim. The Hashmi recipient -- preferably of Asian, Middle Eastern, or African descent -- must have paid taxes, abided by Western law, held no criminal record, valued higher education, and demonstrated all-around Good Muslim Sportsmanship in the war against terror.
The Hashmi, according to Mayor Christine Quinn, "is our way of saying, 'Thanks, observant Muslims, for allowing us to project our post-9-11 fear and hatred onto you. Your sinister hijabs, skullcaps, and beards, not to mention your wacky halal food, have justified years of the NYPD secretly monitoring your communities.'"
In a dignified ceremony at City Hall, the Hashmi honoree is presented with a pair of complimentary waterproof socks and a rain poncho. The lucky prizewinner is then immediately arrested on suspicion of intent to give these items to Al Qaeda.
Now, in 2018, the Awards Committee would again like to honor a deserving man or woman of the Islamic faith. Unfortunately, the Committee can't seem to find one. Virtually all New York's observant Muslims appear to have been deported or are assumed to be on the down-low, hoping to avoid "persecution."
The Hashmi Award, begun in 2013, was named for the ultimate Good Muslim Sport, Syed Fahad Hashmi. Mr. Hashmi, born 1980 in Pakistan, did not, unfortunately, begin life as a Good Sport. When he was three, he moved with his family to the United States and became an American citizen, thus succumbing to his inborn jihadist urge to infiltrate Western society. The youthful Mr. Hashmi soon launched himself on a downward spiral, moving ever deeper into the netherworld of fanaticism by not smoking, not drinking, not cursing, respecting his teachers, pursuing an interest in current events, and abusing his First-Amendment rights in arguing against U.S. foreign policy.
By 2003, when he received a degree in political science from Brooklyn College, Mr. Hashmi had all but completed his descent into terror. Seeking to expand Islam's worldwide web, he went to England to study for a master's degree in international relations at the London Metropolitan University. There, Mr. Hashmi, in a wanton perversion of niceness, allowed an acquaintance, Mohammed Junaid Babar, to spend two weeks in his apartment. He also permitted Mr. Babar to use his cell phone and to stow some luggage. Luggage of doom, as it turned out: for it contained waterproof socks, raincoats, and ponchos that Mr. Babar later delivered to Al Qaeda in Pakistan.
Mr. Babar was arrested in 2004 and jailed. Then, to avoid a prison sentence, he agreed to testify against the real terrorist: the vile, apartment-renting, sock-storing Syed Fahad Hashmi.
Mr. Hashmi, 26, was arrested in London in 2006, extradited to New York, and held in solitary confinement under Special Administrative Measures for three years before trial. Then, a miracle: In detention, cut off from family, friends, and most sensory stimuli -- while contemplating a possible 70-year sentence -- Mr. Hashmi allowed the healing power of Good Muslim Sportsmanship into his heart as his personal savior.
Finally embracing the tenets of Western Enlightenment, Mr. Hashmi made the inspiring decision to plead guilty to one count of providing material support to Al Qaeda. By so doing, he saved the U.S. government millions upon millions of dollars in the beefed-up security that would have been needed for news media to evoke the proper level of dread and revulsion.
Mr. Hashmi now resides in the Florence, Colorado ADX, the most locked-down prison in the U.S., where he will probably spend every remaining day of his 15-year sentence. Unlike observant Christians serving time for bombing abortion clinics or murdering doctors, Mr. Hashmi lives alone in a bathroom-sized cell, devoid of human contact, where, as one reporter from the Guardian put it, "The only possible means of communicating with other humans is to yell into the toilet bowl and hope that someone may hear."
All this, for non-Muslim New Yorkers, makes not having a Hashmi Award recipient especially hard to bear. "I'd hate to see that award disappear," said veteran gay rights activist Herbie Brownstein, in an impromptu sidewalk interview. "We of the LGBT community doff our chapeaux to Mr. Hashmi and to the other brave folk of Islam who, in this, and many other legal cases, have taken the place of us commie fags as the main threat to Western civilization." Mr. Brownstein is president of the New York Chapter of Militant Communist Homosexuals for Domination of the Entire Globe.
"I hate that evil Muslim," interjected passerby Mildred Knucklewrapper, who teaches third grade in the Bronx. "Thanks to that guy, we may never know how many terrorists in South Waziristan now go to bed with dry feet. That Hashmi Award is the perfect way to remember why we need to forget about people like Syed Fahad Hashmi."
This reporter would have asked a challenging question at this juncture, but was afraid to be seen as supporting terrorism.
Susie Day is a writer.