Archive for Goatmilk

Wajahat Ali: How turkey came to our Thanksgiving table

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , on November 24, 2011 by loonwatch

(cross-posted from Salon)

Once shunned by my Muslim family, the bird finally found a place in our home, just like so many American traditions

By: Wajahat Ali

My Pakistani and American Muslim social circles celebrate Thanksgiving each year alongside our Eid festivities and Super Bowl Sunday parties, featuring homemade guacamole dip, chips and samosas. But it wasn’t always like this. For my family, this marriage between East and West was three decades in the making.

The 1980s:  An “Amreekan Holiday”

As a child, I often asked my mother what we were eating for Thanksgiving.

“Food,” she replied matter-of-factly.

“Are we eating a turkey?” I asked.

“No, only Amreekans eat turkey.”

Any immigrant or child of immigrants understands that “Amreekan” is a code word for “the mainstream,” which really means “white people.” In addition to celebrating Thanksgiving with a turkey, here are some other things we learned only “Amreekans” do:

  • Wear shoes inside the home
  • Receive “time out” as a valid form of punishment for unruly behavior
  • Talk back to elders
  • Have sex before marriage
  • Put grandparents in senior homes
  • Sleep over at friends’ homes
  • Tattoos
  • Christmas trees
  • Cable television
  • Shop at stores other than Ross, K-Mart, outlet stores, Marshalls and Mervyns (RIP)

Now, I don’t begrudge my parents their position toward turkey. It’s a confounding bird for most immigrants, who are generally more comfortable with the bleats of a goat or a lamb, the squawks of the simple-minded chicken. The turkey was an enigma: a heavy, feathered bird with its “gobbledygook” mutterings, freakish red wattle and vast supply of dry, juiceless meat.

“Do the Amreekans realize it is dry?” ask my still perplexed relatives living in Pakistan. “Where is the masala? The taste? The juices? Why do they eat this bird?”

Besides, most first-generation immigrants in America retain the romantic, deluded concept that “We will eventually go back home to the Motherland.” They will never be “Amreekan.”

Of course, they never do go back and instead firmly plant their familial, cultural, economic, religious and political roots in this foreign yet welcoming “Amreekan” soil. They have second-generation kids — yours truly — who are as “Amreekan” as apple pie, burritos and biryani.

And so Thanksgiving traditions began to leak into our old-school immigrant mentality. I watched the annual Macy’s parade, hoping to see a Spider-Man float. I played Super Mario on my Nintendo and looked forward to spending the evening with Snoopy, Linus, Charlie Brown and the gang, all the while eating a traditional Pakistani dinner. No turkey — yet.

The ’90s: Introducing the Thanksgiving Chicken

In my teen years, I discovered hair in new places and found the courage to demand authentic “Amreekan” requests from my parents.

“Give me turkey, woman!” I once commanded my mother for the upcoming Thanksgiving festivities.

“Here’s some money. You buy it and make it yourself if you like it so much,” she replied.

Foiled again. She knew my inherent culinary uselessness and overall laziness far too well. Well played, Mother. Well played.

During this decade of grunge and Bill Clinton, the immigrant generation in our family gradually replaced the “We will go back to the motherland” mantra with disillusioned rants about how “The motherland is going to hell” after they returned from visiting.

American pop culture effortlessly coexisted within the confines of our Pakistani-American home. Visiting from college one day, I descended the stairs to Nusrat belting out a qawwali in Punjabi. Moments later my father changed the track to Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze.” He was in the kitchen rubbing traditional South Asian spices into pieces of steak he would later cook on his brand-new George Foreman grill.

My mother relented to my requests and made a meal on Thanksgiving. Instead of cooking a turkey, though, she insisted on roasting two whole chickens.

“What’s the point of having a chicken on Thanksgiving of all days?” I asked. “It’s like passing out omelets to kids on Easter instead of colored eggs.”

“I like chickens. I can cook a chicken. Chickens are tasty,” my mother replied. “I’m not wasting my time cooking a dry bird.”

She ruled the kitchen with an Iron Ladle.

But the consumption of “some form of a bird” on Thanksgiving was remarkable progress toward fully celebrating this Amreekan holiday. Furthermore, the religious clergy in our communities realized the obvious: Thanksgiving dinner is actually harmonious with Muslim values. After all, aren’t we reconciling with our family and communities and being thankful and grateful for all of our blessings? Isn’t that what Muslims are supposed to do on a daily basis?

Score one for theology in supporting rational arguments to consume dead birds.

That night, we ate two fully roasted whole chickens (quite tasty), and my mother also made basmati rice, daal (lentls), chicken khorma (curry) and kheema (South Asian ground beef.)

It wasn’t perfect — but it was a start.

The new century: Let there be turkey

The 21st century opened the culinary floodgates. It was a brave new world. Turkeys were unleashed to South Asian and Muslim American homes on Thanksgiving with wild abandon. No American holiday would be left unattended and no holiday sale would be forsaken by the immigrant communities! The musings of “going back to the motherland” have now transformed into semi-annual visits to see relatives and nothing more.

Even Muslim butchers are readily selling Halal turkeys in their local community shops. (Halal meat refers to animals slaughtered according to Islamic custom similar to Kosher slaughtering practices for Jews).

2002 was the “Great Turkey Explosion,” when Chandni, the neighborhood South Asian restaurant/wedding reception hall/religious ceremony hall/miscellaneous space used for all celebrations, started offering an “authentic Thanksgiving buffet” for $11 on Nov. 24-25. I had heard rumors of this awesomeness, but I had to drive there and witness morsels of turkey flesh swimming in a broth of fat and oil to believe it myself. And, lo and behold, in front of the South Asian buffet table — which featured lamb karahi, chicken tikka masala, and saag ghosht (spinach with meat) — there was “Thanksgiving” buffet table with turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes and bread rolls.

In our home, my father made the official decree that the Ali family would now and forever more eat turkey on Thanksgivings – provided he could successfully cook it, which meant “Not cooking it like the Amreekans who always make it too dry.” He felt ambitious in his old age and wanted to test his expanding baking skills by finally tackling the Gobbling-Goliath.

His initial attempt in 2003 was conservative, baking the turkey over several hours as per custom. There was also corn. The mother made some chicken khorma as emergency along with Basmati rice. Some cans of mango and lime pickle achar (relish) were opened just in case. The turkey was both edible and tasty. The family had successfully conquered the mythical bird and stuffed it with so much masala juice it developed a South Asian accent, bhangra dance moves, good credit and IT tech support skills.

A few years later, the family decided to up the ante and “brine” the turkey after some intense Googling sessions researching “Best Way to Cook + Turkey.” This time, we added gravy, mashed potatoes and soft rolls to the menu, along with corn.

Some Thanksgiving staples, however, remained foreign. Yams could only be justified if it was added with meat to a curry. Pumpkins were still regarded as an “exotic vegetable” only to be seen and carved on Halloween. Cranberry sauce was something you drank out of a bottle as a juice concentrate and never ate on the side. “Stuffing” was still only understood as a verb and not an edible noun.

Fast-forward a few years to 2011, and lo and behold, our turkeys have been successfully baked, roasted, brined, deep fried — and thoroughly enjoyed. The annual turkey now sits on a large dining table next to homemade sweet yams, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn bread, rolls, corn on the cob, and store-bought pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce. And yes, there is always a South Asian curry dish just in case.

We also wash down the gluttony with the American Muslim version of Cristal: Martinelli’s Apple Cider.

But this isn’t just a story about how we integrated a strange-looking bird into our dinners. It’s how my American Muslim Pakistani family integrated into the American cultural fabric. It’s the same messy, colorful but inevitable way immigrants all over enter the American narrative, bringing their own flavors to collide, merge and spill outside the pot.

It’s as Amreekan as turkey and chicken khorma.

Wajahat Ali continues to awkwardly pray in Gap stalls.  He is a playwright, attorney and journalist.  His first play, “The Domestic Crusaders,” was recently published by McSweeney’s.  He is currently writing an HBO pilot with Dave Eggers.

The Stealth Halal Jihadist Turkey: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love the Muslim Trojan Horse

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 24, 2011 by loonwatch

Guest Article by: Wajahat Ali 

American Muslim communities celebrating Thanksgiving with a traditional Turkey feast represents an encouraging sign of integration with American values and rituals.

But, of course, we Muslims fooled you.

Yet again.

You should have known that our baked, brined, and deep-fried masala turkeys were simply veiling our nefarious, anti-American plots to replace McDonald’s arches with minarets and convert the White House to the United Colors of Benetton House.

Pam Geller, our anti-Muslim Paul Revere

However, not all patriotic Americans were gullible and naïve! Nay, some America-holic crusaders, like bloggers Pam Geller and her fearless co-horts, called out our “stealth jihadist turkey plot!” Like modern-day Paul Reveres, they blogged, tweeted and mass mailed our ingenious plot “to submit unassuming Americans to Islam by feeding them halal Turkey” this holiday season. (Halal meat is slaughtered according to Islamic custom, similar to Jewish Kosher laws.)

Our nation’s Cassandra, Pam Geller – the preeminent anti-Muslim blogger and conspiracy theorist aficionado –  believes President Obama is a Muslim, illegitimate son of Malcolm X who once went to Pakistan for drugs and jihad. She also uncovered Arabic is not just a language, but actually a spearhead for anti-Americanism. Thanks to her, we discovered radical Islam has infiltrated our government, which is secretly being run by Islamic supremacists. She also accused Muslims of engaging in stealth cultural jihad by wearing their headscarves at Disneyland.

Truth be told, we’ve already converted Goofy. Donald Duck was always our Manchurian candidate. Mickey was the first to turn Benedict Arnold.  As for Porky Pig, he better watch out; we’re coming for him next…with our scimitars.

Damn you, Pamela Geller, your anti-Muslim, detective nose is too evolved and sophisticated in sniffing out our dastardly plots!

I guess the feathered, red wattled bird is out of the proverbial bag. There’s no reason to hide the secret any longer.

It’s true. The turkey is our new Trojan Horse.

After spending decades learning to cook and enjoy the famously-dry turkey, we Muslims decided to use the bird to launch our turkey jihad after successfully conquering it in our respective kitchens.  We’ve evolved from creeping sharia into states to creeping cholesterol and obesity into American diets. After taking over all the street meat vendors in New York, the Islamization of the turkey bird was inevitable.

Turkey: The Greatest Weapon of Mass Distraction

The Turkey is our greatest weapon of distraction. Even more so than hummus, biryani, shwarmas, kebobs, naans, and Lupe Fiasco.

The fatty bird’s high levels of tryptophan act like a paralyzing agent, causing intense drowsiness and lethargy when Americans overeat on Thanksgiving Day. The ensuing food coma paves the way for The Muslim Agenda to stealthily accomplish its ambitious goal of radically transforming America into a radical Caliphate guided by Sharia law.

Pam Geller, the 21st century’s Velma, uncovers The Great Halal Turkey Conspiracy:

Across this great country, on Thanksgiving tables nationwide, infidel Americans are unwittingly going to be serving halal turkeys to their families this Thursday. Turkeys that are halal certified… [this] is just the opposite of what Thanksgiving represents: freedom and inclusiveness, neither of which are allowed for under that same Islamic law.

Blast her foresight and remarkable sleuthing skills!

In this land of religious freedom, tolerance and pluralism, it is utterly unacceptable – downright un-American, I say – to allow a diversity of slaughtering options for mass consumers! And allowing Turkeys to be slaughtered according to a religious custom similar to Jewish Kosher laws? Shudder the thought!

Indeed, it is more patriotic to consume a steroid-pumped, undernourished, traumatized turkey hurled onto a mechanical conveyor belt – along with thousands of its gobbling brethren – awaiting its rapture under the guillotine of economic efficiency and other profit-maximizing instruments of death.

That, my friends, is truly the American way!

Muslims, we’re like the Green Bay Packers

But, even American superheroes like Pamela Geller can’t stop our momentum. Muslims are like the current Green Bay Packers of fifth-column, culinary stealth jihadists– we’re on a hot streak!

First, we infiltrated America by creating a hot, Lebanese American beauty pageant named Rima Fakih who won Miss USA and stole the tiara from the infidels. Then, we installed a biracial man with Kenyan roots in the Oval Office, who happens to be a practicing Christian that celebrates Easter, accepts Christ as his savior, and has yet to step foot in a mosque during his three years as President. Moreover, he drinks alcohol and publicly eats bacon. Indeed, the hallmark traits of a Muslim President.

Most recently, we have invaded mainstream American television sets with our very own reality TV show, TLC’s All American Muslim. Move over Kim, Paris and Snookie, Arab-American Muslim Shadia is creeping to take over your botox and photoshopped US Weekly covers. According to Pamela Geller’s Justice League of Islamophobes, TLC’s real intention in creating the show is to force “submission to Islam through the hijab.” (Our clandestine plots foiled yet again!)

Halal Turkey Victory: The Icing on the Cake

But this latest victory is the icing on the cake, or I should say, the honey on the kanafeh. Ha!

Who was our mighty warrior leading us to victory, you ask? Our Alexander? Our Achilles? Our Obama? Our Aaron Rogers? The Trojan horse of our stealth victory was none other than the Thanksgiving turkey.

In fact, we’ve been so successful at integrating, we’ve inspired the mega corporation Butterball to become our preeminent stealth jihadist and unleash stealth halal turkeys on unsuspecting Americans and citizens abroad.

After all, what’s more anti-American than introducing a uniquely American bird, Turkey, to new global consumer markets thereby promoting American products, advertising brand names, and stimulating the national economy? That’s downright Communistic!

But, even this is too much for Geller, who is asking for Butterball to be held accountable for allegedly serving Americans unlabeled halal meat. She has created the “Boycott Butterball Turkey” Facebook page.

Even fellow American Muslims are upset! All this time they could’ve purchased turkey at affordable prices from their local supermarkets instead of shelling out extra money for halal-certified birds from their community butchers! How come no one told the rest of them about Butterball’s ingenious stealth halal turkey jihadist plan?

(We have to keep them in the dark. We can’t afford to activate all of our of culinary stealth jihadists at once. Most of them have to live as if they are actually moderate, peaceful, loyal, normal Americans going about their day to day lives dealing with real problems and concerns that are shared by their neighbors, friends and co-workers. Lateral thinking.)

The Muslim Agenda Fortune Cookie

If you’re lucky, you’ll find The Protocols of the Elders of Mecca (or, “The Muslim Agenda”) stuffed in your Butterball turkey this holiday season. It outlines the plans for our next American cultural takeovers.  If you look closely, deep inside your Butterball turkeys, there will be leaked cell phone photos of a circumcised Easter Bunny praying towards Mecca right before he hands out Kosher eggs and crescent-shaped chocolates to kids from his Easter basket, which we imported from China.

Apparently he’s also developed an insatiable sexual urge for white female rabbits and has started his own “Hare’s Harem.” Rumor has it he’s been fasting during Ramadan and partying like it was Mardi Gras during Lent.

And, wait until you see what we have in store for Christmas! Red-nosed camels and a Santa Claus named Abu Qhlaws: a hairy, overweight Moroccan man with a bushy beard giving chicken tagine to school kids in the malls.

There’s a rumor that American Muslim families will be giving snickers and tandoori chicken pieces for Halloween. Trick or Treat?

We’ve successfully brainwashed the Tooth Fairy as well. She now wears a burqa and was forced to marry Imam Rumpelstiltskin (Come on, that wasn’t a shocker, right?).  Instead of replacing children’s teeth with coins, she now places small Qurans published in Saudi Arabia under their bedroom pillows. She also sprinkles fairy dust on the children, consisting of turmeric and zaatar.

The battle of the absurd, paranoid, and demented is thankfully yearlong and not contained to seasonal limitations. This Thanksgiving, however, please do enjoy your Turkey, whether it be kosher, halal, vegan, vegetarian, American or even foreign.

To appease Pamela Geller and company, just please make sure your dead, cooked bird is tasty, America-holic and not a radical, stealth agent of jihad.  Just to be safe, stab the bird a few times Pulp Fiction-style with the baster. Because, after all, you can never really know and you can never really be too sure.

Wajahat Ali is a playwright, attorney, journalist and humorist.  He blogs at Goatmilk and is the author of the award-winning Domestic Crusaders.  He will be basting his halal turkey in America-holic juices this Thanksgiving.

Muslim-American Spills His Guts, Admits Barack Hussein Obama’s Taqiyya

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , on August 21, 2010 by loonwatch

How many of you have heard of taqiyya?  It’s a religious belief of Muslims where they can lie to infidels.  Read all about this fundamental Islamic doctrine right here.

Basically, it allows them to lie about what religion they belong to, among other things!  I didn’t believe it when I read Robert Spencer’s book, but just today a prominent Muslim-American named Wajahat Ali, known for drinking goat milk (that’s what Muslims drink), spilled his guts and wrote a tell-all piece for The Guardian.  Hear it straight from his own words how all Muslim-Americans know that President, or should I say Imam Barack Hussein Obama, is doing taqiyya and has the seed of Islamin him!  Wajahat Ali demands that Obama return the seed if he is not using it.  Will a fleet enema be sufficient to flush out the seed that Obama swallowed?

Check out the amazing article for yourself:

Barack Obama, ‘Muslim’ president

Like many Muslim Americans, I had high hopes – now dashed: our brother drinks beer, eats pork and won’t fast at Ramadan …

by Wajahat Ali

Exhibit A: Barack Obama dressed as a Somali elder during his 2006 visit to Kenya. The photograph was circulated during the presidential election campaign in 2008, regarded by Democrats as a smear. Photograph: APOne wonders why only 20% of Americans believe President Barack Obama is a Muslim, considering the overwhelming evidence conclusively proving his slavish allegiance to Islam and utter disregard for Christianity.

After Obama’s wishy-washy defence of Muslim Americans’ freedom to build a community centre, which includes a mosque, two blocks away from Ground Zero, a poll from the Pew Research Centrereveals that nearly 20% of Americans – up from 11% a year ago – consider him a Muslim, and nearly 43% are unsure of his religion.

As a Muslim American, I presciently spotted the tell-tale signs of Obama’s Muslimy-ness and raucously celebrated – along with the entire monolithic entity of 1.5bn Muslims – our successful Islamisation of America. With one of us finally implanted in the White House and the other wearing a Miss USA tiara, minarets on the Capitol and a burqa-clad Hillary Clinton were only a lunar cycle away.

The smoking gun proving Obama belonged to the “stars and crescent” occurred during his interview with influential pastor Rick Warren, when he publicly admitted: “I believe Jesus died for my sins and I’m redeemed through him – that is a source of strength and sustenance on a daily basis.” Further testimony came with his 2009 Notre Dame graduation speech, where Obama referenced his community organising days in Chicago, boldly declaring: “… it was through this service I was brought to Christ.”

His decisive break with Christianity and subsequent undying fealty to the Islamic empire clearly then occurred at the White House Easter prayer breakfast, where he welcomed the esteemed guests as his “brothers and sisters in Christ“. And how can one forget Obama publicly denouncing Reverend Jeremiah Wright, his pastor for over 20 years at the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago?

However, despite this powerful evidence of his Islamic faith, my mind is plagued with doubts concerning Obama’s authentic Muslim credibility. The world takes photos of him eating lunch during Ramadan, a holy month for Muslims in which we abstain from food and drink until sunset. Also,Obama apparently likes beer – which is strictly forbidden in Islam – and he never hesitates to flagrantly exhibit this sin. Memorable examples include his drinking bout with Professor Henry Louis Gates’ arresting officer, Sgt Crowley, or his chugging a few bottles while awkwardly bowling to pacify nervous, middle-class white voters in Pennsylvania during the primaries.

It also appears that Obama indulges in eating swine – thoroughly forbidden for Muslims – and he was subsequently caught devouring a tasty piece of salami with Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York, who may also be a closet Muslim given his recent stirring and eloquent defence of religious liberties in light of the Park 51 mosque controversy.

So I worry about my Muslim brother’s observance. In over two years, Obama has yet to step foot in a mosque. Furthermore, when given the ripe opportunity to pick a Muslim judge for the supreme court – thereby implementing sharia law through stealth judicial activism – Obama instead nominated Elena Kagan (a Jew and a female to boot!). His cabinet, which counsels him on the most critical domestic and foreign policy issues, does not contain even one member with an Arabic name.

And despite all the president’s obvious Muslim credentials and avowed commitment to convert America to an Islamic theocracy, there are only two elected Muslim American officials out of 435 Congress members. What is more, hummus has not supplanted peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, hookahs have yet to be installed in congressional chambers, male elected officials continue shaving their facial hair, Egyptian soap operas and al-Jazeera have yet to replace Fox News and CNN, and the Iron Sheik, sadly, is still not the White House spokesman.

And yet, many impassioned and determined voices continue proclaiming Obama a “card-carrying Muslim”.

Objectively reviewing the evidence, one notices that Obama’s middle name is indeed shared by a recently deposed Iraqi dictator, and the president’s first and last name contain superfluous multisyllables. Also, Obama, who is biracial and raised primarily by his white, Christian mother, had a Kenyan father, who was a (non-practising) Muslim. Further, the family lived in Indonesia, a Muslim country, for nearly four years. Obama also wore a traditional African turban and dress – a little too confidently and comfortably – while visiting Kenya in 2006, and he said “Assalam aleikum” – a little too eloquently – while addressing Muslims in his famous Cairo speech.

If one was to disavow common sense, history, evidence and truth, and, instead, rely purely on hysteria and hearsay created out of conjecture, then perhaps superficial appearances do conclusively prove Obama is a Muslim. Following this logic, Bill O’Reilly could secretly be a Manchurian Candidate for Hamas because of his prolific knowledge of Arabic, as gleaned from his usage of “loofah” and “falafel” when allegedly attempted to sexually harass a female producer. George W Bush could potentially be a covert, homosexual Saudi Arabia spy, since photos show himholding hands with Prince Abdullah and kissing him on the cheek. Rachel Ray, that perky culinary superstar, could be cooking lethal, anthrax-laced batches of girl scout cookies for Hezbollah, because, after all, she wore a keffiyeh in a Dunkin’ Donuts commercial.

After review, the evidence produces a hung jury in deciding whether or not Obama is a Muslim. But, even if he is one, it appears he is a “secular Muslim” – precisely the type Pamela Geller, the rightwing blogger responsible for creating much of the anti-NYC mosque hysteria, allegedly welcomes with open arms. She and her likeminded ilk should embrace “secular” Obama, who drinks beer, eats pork and doesn’t observe Ramadan, instead of relentlessly demonising him.

It seems, after all, that his “Muslim” values coincide closely with American family values – of being married, staying loyal to your wife, raising well-behaved children, actively helping neighbours and contributing to the public good of the community members, as he did in Chicago. With his deep understanding of “Muslim culture”, the president could also foster conciliation and healing with Muslim communities in Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. Finally, Obama being a Muslim would permanently negate al-Qaida’s narrative that America is at “war with Islam”. How could “America” hate Islam if American citizens had elected a biracial citizen with an Arabic name and non-Christian religion as their president?

Thankfully, at least 80% of Americans seem impervious to the “Obama is a Muslim” Kool-Aid being peddled abundantly by a reactionary minority. But that 20%, maybe more, choose to remain ignorant of American principles and history, thereby paralysing their ability to reflect on how similar fear tactics, baseless doubts and paranoid allegations smeared another US president nearly 50 years ago. His name was John F Kennedy and his offence was to be a Catholic.

The irony of this shameful debacle is that Obama is, in fact, a “card-carrying Christian”. Ultimately, it suggests the question: had he actually been Muslim, or instead been Hindu, Jewish or atheist, would he be any less American?

The overwhelming evidence suggests not.

 

Listen to an interview of Wajahat Ali, the voice of reason

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , on May 12, 2010 by loonwatch
Wajahat AliWajahat Ali 

We can’t get enough of this guy Wajahat Ali.  He’s a Pakistani-American, a lawyer by profession and writer by passion.  In the interview with host Jeff Farias below, Mr. Ali discusses South Park, the Times Square bombing, and what it means to be an American:

Will cool minds like his prevail?