“Allu aqbar, allu aqbar”.
The men knelt, in barefeet at the mosque.
The air was sweet outside in the valley.
Mohammad couldn’t wait to get back outdoors to his spot.
“Mohammad,” Ahmed whispered, “Are you coming with us to the rally after the prayers?”
Of course Mohammad was not – he was just going through the motions now – he had long since given up his faith after the time he had spent studying in the West, and because of his time working in the so-called enlightened mass media of Pakistan – and the rallies – well – he saw no use – after the drones had been automated and collateral damage reduced to near zero – wordwide sympathy outside of the no-man’s lands had also been almost totally reduced – not to mention although he did not really fully understand it – the firewall had begun its descent also reducing to the point of elimination stories of a mis-launched smart-bomb to near zero – no – Mohammad had other things on his mind starting with the end of prayer and getting back to his stash of books – all doubly contraband now – not only was the literature surely to be judged unislamic but books themselves – even old-style paper – was virtually non-existent now.
“Ahmad… shhh. No I cannot. You know there is no point to it anyhow.”
“Okay Moe. But I’m still going no doubt. For the movement. Our leaders continue to be taken out even though no one is hearing about it.”
At that moment two of the mosque elders stood up suddenly and descended on the two guys – Moe and Ahmed, grabbed them by their tunics and forced them out of the mosque, closing the doors behind the,
“Thank God”, said Mohammad.
“Shhht…,” said Ahmad. “Moe, you simply cannot show this disrespect anywhere in Pakistan or throughout the caliphate. It is dangerous for you, and so for us. I know you know other things. Have seen other things. But this is now our reality. The fight against the West. The drones. It remains up to us. C’mon Moe, join the protest!”
“Ahmad. You know this is not going to happen for me. If you ever want me to explain, you know where I go.”
With that the two split up.
Mohammad set out for his half day walk up into the dry mountains – to his hideaway, where his stash was, he felt, still well protected, to pass one of the myriad so-called Islamic hollidays the caliphate had instituted across the Middle East from Morocco to Egypt past the Levant, Persia, and into Pakistan.