Marquel, TPVs NYTimes Bondage and Discipline Section correspondent was having virtual sex with his eyes closed when he had to open them to read Taliban Chief Rebuked by Religious Leaders in Sign of Turmoil.
A letter by the religious leaders criticized the new insurgent leader for the violent discipline of his commanders, reflecting deep tensions in the hierarchy. Apparently this is a serious fracture between the religious hierarchy and the boots, or perhaps sandals, on the ground.
“What did the new commander do?”
“First he beheaded several recruits because they couldn’t learn left right left right. They were always out of step. Then he put out the eyes if several recruits who watched tv during guard duty. He cut out the tongue of a soldier who was smuggling ham into the camp, and I believe he also chopped of the hands of several soldiers who applauded after watching a western movie.”
“Sharia shmaria. Do you know what sharia means in Arabic?” He didn’t wait for Marquel answer. “It means nothing!”
“I mean literally zero. You know the Arabs invented zero. We are the only people famous for inventing nothing. But it was a major advance to have a number whose value is zero. And do you know what word described it? Sharia! Sharia literally means zero. That’s why it’s so useful. It means everything and, fundamentally, nothing!” Said the elder.
“Well yes, but as I’ve told you sharia means nothing. Oh listen, the sharia man!” He said.
“Sure, even when I was a kid. It’s nothing. I just explained to you how it’s nothing.” He said.
“But you’re going to discipline this soldier for violating sharia by being too harsh?” I asked.
“Oh he’s already been disciplined.” Said the old man.
He pointed outside to a tree. A body hung from it. Both legs and arms had been chopped off. His head was atop a pole at the entrance to the camp.
“So seeing that, everybody will learn what lesson?” I asked.
“Oh I think very much that everybody will understand that sharia forbids cruelty and unnecessary harshness.” He said.
“Oh yes. I understand the contradictions you are no doubt considering. But they will learn. It’s sharia. It’s nothing.”