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Leselupe.de > Fremdsprachiges und MundART
Eingestellt am 21. 09. 2004 13:56

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He winces as he is half dragged, half pushed out off the white van and sunlight hits his eyes, making it for a moment impossible to see anything. The five guards don't pay any attention to his discomfort, don't give him a chance to adjust to the light but just push him forward. Not very surprising. For them, he is just a job, an annoyance at best, to deliver and to be rid of in half an hour at most.

Even before they have left the parking spot, he can hear the noise of the crowd, loud, demanding, a lot of laughing, some heated discussions while they wait for their Friday afternoon entertainment, which he has the unfortunate pleasure to provide this time. He stumbles onto the small path through the crowd as one of the guard shoves him into the back, but manages to regain his balance before he can fall. Head held high, he follows the first guard, not looking right or left, not wanting to see familiar faces in the crowd.

For a moment, he wonders if Haifa, his beautiful but unwanted almost-wife is there, hidden somewhere behind the walls, starring through one of the holes, waiting for the blood to spill over the white marble, the visible stain for the invisible one he marked her and their families with. Or maybe Sana', his sister, or his mother. He hopes not. He doesn't want for his little sister to see him this way, nor for his mother's last memory of him to be this. They deserved better than that. But knowing his father, they more than likely had no other choice but being here, to witness first hand and in colour what happens to those who dare defy Allah and everything the Islam stands for. He has no doubts that his father is here, most likely even in the first row, to ensure that the sentence is carried out properly.

Even before the order is spoken, he kneels down on the polythene that covers the white marble field in the middle of the place, tries to be as graceful as possible about it, unwilling to add to the audience's entertainment by falling to his knees. He doesn't need to look around to see that the balustrades around the place are crowded by people, below the stone and above, maybe even inside as well. Even without the noise the mob makes, there would have been no doubt about that. The execution of the son of a Muttawa is nothing any of them would miss.

For a moment, he locks eyes with the Imam, whom he has known for his whole life already. He is a close friend of his father's and he can't remember a birthday or any other important gathering when the holy man wasn't there. In the brown eyes, he can see the loathing shining. It is an intensified form of the expression he saw already five years ago, the day his father had lamented that his only son preferred to study medicine instead of following the family's tradition and becoming a Muttawa as well.

As he breaks the eye contact and instead focuses on the light brown wall of the mosque, he remembers the drama that resulted out of his decision as if it happened just yesterday and not already years ago. His father's cutting disappointment, his crying mother, imploring him not to break with the family tradition, the silence, the screaming, the talk with Omar when the Imam had tried to make him see reason, to convince him that this was the perfect way to serve Allah. He had won in the end, but it had put a riff between him and his father, the great Muttawa, whose purpose in life it was to enforce the law and his faith in Allah. Just one of many.

For the same reason there would be no pardon today . Not only was there never a pardon in cases as his - only for murderer - but his father would rather bit off his tongue - and that of everybody else who would dare it - for even thinking about the possibility, even less voice it. There wouldn't be forgiveness here, not for him. No last minute interference that would save him. Not that he would want it. He has lost everything that was worth living for. First six weeks ago, then, with cruel and painful finality, three days ago.

"Lā ilāha il-Allāh Muhammadur rasūl Allāh."

There is no god but God, and Muhammad is his messenger.

"Lā ilāha il-Allāh Muhammadur rasūl Allāh," he repeats the words of the shahādah, which are comforting and strengthening at the same time. It fills him with the strength he will need for what is still to come. It is the curious thing with religion, he has discovered already some time ago; it could give you something essential, something that will fill you and keep you going, while at the same time betray you.

He doesn't move when his hands are freed, resists the temptation to put his hands onto the earth, to ground himself with the land he calls his home. It would just be another lie with the cheap polythene between him and the marble. An illusion that just isn't worth it. The ground in his cell was more real than this would be.

He has declined the sedative already before, when he got his examination, so there's no delay anymore in the procedure. He doesn't regret it. Not much at least. He doesn't want to spend the last moments of his life in some drug induced, dreamlike state. He wants to feel the sun burning down on him at least one more time, to breath the emission-filled air of his town and life and to imagine that it is as clear and dry as the dessert wind. He wants to remember with a clear head just why that here is happening, the cause of his misery.

And unlike most other men he has seen up here, he is calm. Much calmer than any time during the last weeks. Instead of the fear and restlessness he had felt during his imprisonment, a strange peace has settled over him. It calms his nerves and shelters him to the same time. A grace of Allah, he's sure about that. That, and the fact that his torment would finally come to an end; very soon. He doesn't want or can fight anymore. Fortunately he doesn't need to anymore either. Not for much longer.

Some strangely detached part of him becomes aware of a dripping sound. Not rain. Of course not. Just dripping sweat being caught by the clear polythene. For a moment, the dripping drowns out everything - the crowd as well as the Imam, who has turned his attention to the same. Sadly not for long, though.

"Allahu Akbar," the voice of the Imam penetrates his consciousness again. God is great.

... there is no god except God
, he adds silently the words that have been drilled into him since he was a child and which are of more comfort to him than thinking about his own family or a beloved one. Nothing is greater than god - apart from those who enforce the law. The ghost of a bitter smile flies over his face, then vanishes again, as fast as the lifeline of a mortal must in the eye of God.

'My father the Muttawa - horror stories for small children.'

This here could certainly be used as the highlight in such a book.

Out of the corner of his eyes he can see the executioner shifting around. He knows that the man is restless, waiting for the moment that he can finally shed blood - his blood. All in the name for the greater good, of course. For God. He wonders if it is the same man who already carried out the sentence for Farid, or if there is something like a pecking order among the ranks of the executioners and if he has the doubtful honour of getting the most prolific among them. He wouldn't be surprised if that was the case. If there is one thing he has learned during the last weeks, it is that everything is possible. Like that the law could be carried out much faster than the usual months, if not even years, it usually took.

"Abdul Aziz," he hears the Imam beginning anew, in a voice that could freeze everything. Purposely, of course. Because the prospect of death isn't enough yet to terrify the offender. "You have been convicted of sodomy against the law and the wishes of God as Muhammad, his messenger, has received them and gifted us with. No less than four respectable men of god have witnessed and testified, their names being ..."

In fact, there were seven. The seventh being his own father, he thinks, letting the voice of the Imam drown out once more as his mind wanders to that fateful day that destroyed his life even before it really had began.

As always, they had met in one of the few western hotels of the town, where nobody cared what they did, as long as they were discreet. This time it was the one near the park. They arrived within one hour difference, Farid being the first. The other man was already in the room when he arrived, pretending to be a business associate. Not something that was uncommon in their world.

He keeps his smile inwardly and his face blank as he remembers his arrival that day, the greeting, which consisted of that kind of kiss that arose an instant wave of pleasure and longing within him, a desire that had build up during the last days, when all they could do was talk and the fast, barely existent handshake that was tolerated in their world. It was a yearning that threatened to consume him now, to burn him from the inside out, and which could only be eased by the man who was kissing him with a hunger that easily matched his own in its desperation.

There were not many words spoken first. Their longing for each other was far too strong as they tore off their clothes and let their hands and mouths do the talking for the time being.

Paradise on earth, just the two of them, indulging in their passion and their love.

Later, after that first desperate hunger was sated and he glowed in the aftermath of it, he laid on the bed, watching Farid moving around the room, preparing two glasses with the custom black/mint tea while admiring the play of muscles in the other's body and how the thin layer of sweat gave his skin a shimmering touch. "I missed you," he said, before taking the offered liquid, only to put it on the nightstand, right beside the Koran and the white-golden lamp. He did the same with his lover's glass, then pulled him down and into a kiss.

"I can see that," Farid said, the smirk spoiled by breathlessness once they separated again. He leaned into the hand on his cheek. "I missed you, too. How is it at home?", Farid asked then, with a last chaste kiss, then leaned over him to fetch their glasses again.

The dark gaze on him left no doubt that Farid wouldn't be satisfied with one of his usual 'it's all right' answers. It was okay for the university, between classes, but not here, in this situation, just between the two of them. He shook his head. "He's getting very impatient. I don't know how long I can still put it off. He invited her father over for next week, to talk about the details."

"So he really wants to go through with that, despite what you want?"

"Of course. I ashamed him already when I broke with the family tradition. He wants to get his way at least once," he said with a calmness he didn't really feel. Just the thought of being married to Haifa - or anybody for that matter - sent a wave of desperation through him.

"Marrying you, even if you don't want to? You know, sometimes I think, it pays off not having a big name, endless money or fame. At least I'm not forced to do something I don't want. My family is more than happy to let me finish my studies before even thinking about me settling down and having a family."

"Yes, you're far luckier in that regard," he admitted, taking a sip from the sweet, lukewarm tea. "I wish, I could just tell him to leave me alone. But he is my father ..."

"Maybe that won't even be necessary anymore. I have a surprise for you," Farid told him with one of his blinding smiles that made his knees weak and let his cock twitch with interest, then put both their empty glasses away.

"What kind of surprise?" he asked, looking at the other man suspiciously. The last time his lover had surprised him, they had ended up in the dessert, sleeping on the sand, after their tent had flown away. The night under the stars, just the two of them, their lovemaking under the bright moon, was still one of his most cherished memories.

"No, not yet. Maybe I'll tell you later. Much later." With a laugh, Farid rolled on top of him, immobilising him effectively and began to nip at his neck.

He first found out in prison, during that last talk with his father, what that surprise was: Two one way tickets to Europe, Paris.

Would he have done it? Broken all ties with his family and country? Traded it for a life in peace and without fear of discovery with the man he loved? No matter the shame such an action would have brought over his family? Maybe. Probably even. Not that it was still a question. Not even one hour later, as they allowed themselves to indulge in a gentler form of their hunger, leisurely exploring each other once more, the door shattered open.

What followed the intrusion is something he will never forget. The terror that has seized him then, the nightmare that came upon them during the few minutes until they both got carted away, has been a constant companion during his imprisonment, no matter if as nightmare during the few hours he actually slept or during the just as unpleasant time he was awake.

Only the fear for his lover was stronger than fear of his father's wrath. He is sure, if it wouldn't have been for the others present, religious police as well as normal police, he would have killed him then and now, regardless of blood and family ties. Cold fury and even graver disappointment stood in his father's face as he watched him hurrying in his clothes. Then, just as he passed him, a cold 'You'll pay for that disgrace.'

It was the next to last time that he saw his father, and it was the last time he saw Farid. The last time he saw his father was in the visitor's room of the jail, just a few days after his imprisonment.

"Why?" was the first word his father said, after minutes of oppressing silence.

"Because I love him," he simply stated the truth. He was too tired of all that, even more to come up with some half-hearted explanations nobody would understand anyway and which would only soil the memory of what they shared, which was the last thing he wanted.

"Love?" His father's laugh was unpleasant. "Then tell me, is a few hours of supposedly love worth defying everything I taught you and losing your life?"

He started visibly at the words, at hearing so clearly for the first time what would happen. Until then, it had only been something abstract, something the shock at the whole situation had numbed, had made it appear like a dream from which he could wake up any time. But to hear it know so clearly, gave it a horrifying note of finality.

"Because, and I hope you don't harbour any illusion about that, this is what will happen to you. There's nothing I can do to change it." Not even if I wanted to, which I don't, he heard the silent words as if his father had spoken them aloud. "It is the law. What you did is an abnormality. It is against our religion, against our very culture. It is a direct offence against the wishes of God and no one can help you there. Certainly not your misguided feelings. So tell me, was it worth it at least, with someone as unworthy as him, even? Or was it just for the thrill?"

Unworthy? He almost laughed at that. For a moment he wondered, if that was probably a worse offence than the act itself in the eyes of his father, that his only son would chose somebody so below them. "It was. More than that. And no matter how much you badmouth him, it won't change my feelings or make me regret what we have," he said in a firm voice, not sure where he got the strength from to stand up against the other man. For he couldn't see him anymore as his father. Not anymore after all what happened. No real father would do something like that to his child, he was sure about that. "In my eyes, and hopefully that of God as well, Farid is more worthy than you, or any of your fellow Muttawa, ever could be, father." He spit the last word as if it would be a curse. "But tell me, how did you know? See the question as a last wish of the son who is already dead anyway."

His father had paled considerably at his words. Being verbally attacked by anyone obviously wasn't something he, a respected member of the religious police force, was used to. He had no doubt that nobody else ever spoke to him this way, least of all a member of his family.

"Rumours make their round fast. Did you really think, you could keep this ... disgusting behaviour up without that we would ever hear about it? Various people suspected it, but it was thanks to the effort of the family of your bride that we finally got the proof. They were as appalled as every respectable Muslim should be and saw it as their duty to inform the authorities."

He nodded. There was really not much more to say or to ask. He had a very clear idea of how it went.

"Did you know about that?"

He took the envelope from his father and opened it. His chest became tight as his eyes fell onto its content, two plane tickets, one on the name Farid Ghazali and one for Abdul Aziz, himself. Both one-way tickets to Paris, dated for next month. For a moment he kept silent, tried to regain his composure by the sudden surprise. He swallowed the tears that welled up and tried to force their way out, as he realised that that must have been the surprise his lover had talked about. A life in freedom, for both of them, together.

When he could trust his voice again, he put the tickets back into the brown envelope and pushed it back over the table. "No. But I certainly wish I would have thought about that before."

"I thought as much. Then I hope your love will give you solace when the sword cleans us of the shame you put onto us with your action." His father came to his feet, obviously seeing the conversation as finished. "Of course, you won't die together. You both will be alone. A small, additional punishment for those who think of defying the wishes of God."

It had been the last time he had seen the man who was his father by blood. True to the Muttawa's wishes their executions were separated by days. Farid faced his sentence Tuesday as not to distract from the main attraction after Friday's noon prayer - him. Because, despite being an Arab and a student of their religion, he had no honourable family name, no special religious involvement, no money to take the place in the spotlight. That was solely reserved for him, the wayward son of a most respected Muttawa.

He wasn't there when his lover died, of course not. He had spent the time in his prison cell, trying to fend off the advances of the six other inhabitants with not quite the success he wished for. A small part of him had wondered if he was already so much a persona non-grata that the guards didn't see it necessary anymore to enforce the Sharia or if it was just common and tolerated prison behaviour to keep the convicted busy.

Not that it still mattered. It was one of the many unpleasant memories he would soon be freed from. And then they would meet again, for he has no doubt that God, unlike his father's insistence, doesn't share the general repugnance of what they did, of their love, and admit them into paradise. Farid had believed so strongly in it, that he couldn't not be infected by his optimism.

"Do you think God would allow that we feel this way if he wouldn't agree with it? I don't. And seeing that we do feel so, leaves only one conclusion: Every love, and that includes our love, is consented by God. And really, how can it be wrong to love somebody? So stop worrying, come here and give me a kiss."

For the first time in weeks, he feels tears welling up at the thought of his lover, at the thought of what all they have lost, at the thought that they didn't even have the chance to be with each other until the very end. He just hopes that his strong faith gave Farid the strength he needed in the moment of his death, that it made him feel less alone, less scared.

But they would meet again, very soon. And then they wouldn't have to hide anymore. They could stay together and live out their feelings without the constantly present fear of discovery, followed by death. In many ways, this would be much better than what they had so far, even if they first had to pay the price for it.

He just hopes that it will only take one attempt. Not dying right away is the only thing he still fears. He has seen executions where it took two or three attempts until the head was finally separated from the body, until the condemned finally found death and hopefully peace.

Involuntarily, his head jerks back when the cold steal of the sword pierces his neck. No time for fears or worries anymore, no time for memories or regrets. And so God will, they would be together again in a few moments.


So God will.

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Thank you for this touching story! You've got a lot to say and your writing skills are shining through your threadbare English. My sole complaint is that you should work on your language skills before you publish a story like this, which IS good and spoil it with your lack of experiences in foreign languages.
Lieber ein verführter Verbraucher als ein verbrauchter Verführer...


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Hallo MDSpinoza

You've got a lot to say and your writing skills are shining through your threadbare English. My sole complaint is that you should work on your language skills before you publish a story like this,

Spinoza, ich kann Dir da nicht zustimmen. Ich meine, das Englisch in dieser Geschichte ist bis auf wenige Sätze GUT, aber geradezu meisterhaft für einen, dessen Muttersprache es nicht ist. Der Stil ist sachlich, klar und anschaulich.


Hallo Kadira
Ich finde das Werk ausgezeichnet. Nur eine Frage: Wird ein solches 'Vergehen' in Islamischen Ländern wahrhaftig so grausam bestraft und würde es da nicht, vor allem für einen Sohn aus einflussreicher Familie, genug Schlupfwinkel und Rettungsmöglichkeiten geben? Ich weiß, dass z.B. in Algerien Homosexualität sehr verbreitet ( auch toleriert ? ) ist...

Habe mich eigentlich noch nie mit diesem Thema in Verbindung mit dem Islam beschäftigt.
Dein Text ist unsentimental und doch sehr ergreifend geschrieben.

Liebe Grüße


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