So you are a bored Muslim. I do not know if that is even possible with all the media coverage Muslims are getting these days and I think we all agree we need to lay low for some time. Anyhow, let’s say you are bored and you want to add some spice to your life without having to suffer from the digestive consequences, here are 10 very easy ways to get the attention you need, and perhaps some TV interviews!
1. Always Carry an Arabic written book with you
This one I have tried myself and the results start showing even before you get on a place. If you are a postgraduate student (or not), stack a number of Arabic books into your suitcase, preferably as a layer in the bottom of your luggage. I was asked about the nature of these objects, which were perfectly visible through the x-ray machine, and when I said it were books, the security person took me to the side for “further” investigation. Turned out they were JUST books.
2. Try to get a cold or catch the flue before your flight
But not immediately before your flight! There’s enough time in advance to start showing symptoms. This will increase the chances of sneezing and (if you’re a Muslim) by default the use of the Arabic word “Alhamdulillah”. Naturally, someone will get uncomfortable with such behavior and will probably think it is some sort of an undercover code: hatchow-alhamdulillah-hatchow hatchow-alhamdulilla…
3. Make eye contact with everyone you talk to
In a normal situation, this would be considered a virtue, but not on a plane. Basically, this indicates that you are trying to hypnotize the person in front of you and intimidate them. You know, like the typical scene of an indian hypnotizing a snake? Snake Charmer! Yes! Very orientalist, I know. If you could add a companying music to your performance, that would be on point.
4. Try to look anything but white
Things that you can do to “accentuate” your Muslim/Middle Eastern appeal include; headscarf (Dah!), a beard (the typical), a darker shade of foundation (creative), wearing a Moroccan hat (will give the illusion that you are hiding something underneath as well!). You can use an eyebrow kit, thicken your eyebrows and bring them closer together, (I know that is the trend these days, it is not why we’re doing it). Once you’ve boarded the plane, cross your eyebrows to add an angry look. You know, the way every single Muslim character looks in movies?
5. Make it seem that your woman is oppressed
If you are married, ask your wife to take the window seat. This obviously screams oppression, only Muslims do that.
Handle the talking every time you or your wife need something from the attendant (again, oppression), and always, I repeat, always know what your wife wants without asking her. I know this is very cute and romantic, but come on, you are Muslim, this must be oppression.
6. Say your prayers out loud
Many of us make the mistake of saying our prayers silently. If you want that attention, you must speak out my friend. Feel like reading Qur’an? Even better! Just make sure the person sitting next to you can hear you; this way they will do you the favor of reporting your provocative behavior.
7. Let your kid(s) cry
If you have kids, perfect! If not, borrow your niece or nephew and ask them to cry once they get on the plane (something only kids of Muslim background do, oh we Muslims are crazy!). To improve your chances, be extra nice and apologize to people who are showing signs of resentment, because it will only make them dislike you even more.
If you are with a friend, whisper to each other a lot and point at things while you are doing so. No one in their right mind would have a conversation about their new surroundings! Unless they are plotting something. I know this might seem too simple and “ordinary” to you, well, it is not to the person in the next aisle who just watched a misleading news segment on Fox that morning.
9. Do not drink alcohol, nor eat pork
While these are normally health and dietary preferences, when you are a Muslim they indicate intolerance and a refusal to be part of the community. Yes, I know vegans do not eat pork, or any sort of meat and a lot of people choose not to drink, but you are not a vegan! Or a normal person! You are a Muslim, or someone who looks like one.
10. Speak Arabic if you do
This is the last and most effective tool, hence its position at the end of this list. Arabic! If you speak Arabic, do it! If you only know a few words, use them! If you do not know any Arabic, try to learn some before your trip. If that is not possible or you are too lazy and you know someone who does, call them and put them on speaker. Long story short, Arabic is your key to success here. Now, if you’re Persian you might as well try that, people tend to mix them up a lot.