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Tim Tebow, Step Aside

Acknowledging the contribution of Islam to American Life and football. (Also read Andrew Klavan: "Tebowing for Tebow")

by
David Solway

Bio

January 13, 2012 - 12:00 am

Is not America a great country, one that is justly proud of its liberal politics, that welcomes the stranger in its midst, that opens its doors to refugees legal and illegal and contemplates amnesty for the latter, that refuses to accept religious bigotry, that legislates against hate speech and condemns all forms of ethnic prejudice? Why, even Christians are tolerated despite their extremism, allowed to have their holiday trees and occasionally even their nativity scenes. A country that can indulge so radical a faith is surely unique.

Moreover, in every area of endeavor we see minority individuals rising to the top or exercising preeminence — native professors in the universities, Black Panthers in the voting stations, Mexican illegals careening on the freeways and cartel guerrillas romping across the border, the once-excluded projecting power in the Department of Justice, and yes, even devout Muslims on football teams.

Regarding the latter, consider the exuberant reception given to Taj Tariq, quarterback of the Denver Broncos. Despite the fact that he has difficulty managing a game for the full sixty minutes and his passes tend to float in the air like kites whose strings have snapped, he is nevertheless celebrated for his unconventional behavior on the field. Before each game, Tariq is seen to prostrate himself near the sidelines, removing his cleats, spreading a prayer carpet before him, and performing his devotions. And after the game is over, whether in victory or defeat, he will repeat these observances, often leading his teammates in collective prayer to the supreme deity who presides over all things great and small.

The enthusiasm with which Tariq’s acts of communion and adoration are greeted by his fans as well as by members of the press is truly heartwarming. As Martin Marprelate of the New York Times writes, “Was not President Obama’s appreciation of the contribution of Islam to American democracy and prosperity, both in his Cairo speech and at the White House Ramadan dinner, factually correct?  And is not Taj Tariq a living testimony to the greatness of this nation? Are not his invocations on the field of play a lesson to us all in the spirit of clemency and fellow-feeling? One thing is certain. The contribution of Islam to American football can no longer be denied.”

Marprelate’s remarks are by no means anomalous. America has taken Taj Tariq to its bosom. Prayer rugs have outstripped keffiyehs and Palestinian flags in market sales. “No home should be without one” goes the current advertising slogan. These tapestries of faith are regularly unrolled before the TV set in millions of American homes during the telecast of football games. Even the disaffected youth of the Occupy Wall Street movement have been sleeping on them, and corporate millionaires rarely fly without their monogrammed and decorative runners.

Lionized on the popular TV program The View as a Muslim “hunk with spunk,” Tariq admonished his female hosts for unseemly levity and recommended the sartorial modesty of the burqa. “After all,” he opined, “we wear uniforms and padding,” and continued, “What’s good for the camel is good for the mule.” Tariq had no doubt that his “view” would be vigorously supported by the vast majority of American feminists, and he has not been disappointed in his conviction. In a subsequent interview with the Washington Post’s Joe Btfsplk, Tariq praised America for its hospitality to Islam in all its manifestations and for its recognition of the Islamic donation to American life, adding that the next step would be the complete embrace of the Muslim faith. “As a touchdown must be converted,” he observed, “so too must Americans convert to Islam if the game is to be won.”

Americans appear to be complying. Some have even been heard to cry, “Taj Tariq for president!” The frenzy that has become known as Tariqing is now sweeping the nation as people from all walks of life cast themselves to the ground in ardent worship, mimicking the piety of Taj Tariq before each and every enterprise of moment. And the phenomenon is spreading rapidly as America belatedly acknowledges both the Islamic gift to the NFL and the Islamico-Socialist foundation of Western civilization.

(Also read Andrew Klavan: “Tebowing for Tebow“)

David Solway is a Canadian poet and essayist. He is the author of The Big Lie: On Terror, Antisemitism, and Identity, and is currently working on a sequel, Living in the Valley of Shmoon. His new book on Jewish and Israeli themes, Hear, O Israel!, was released by Mantua Books. His latest book is The Boxthorn Tree, published in December 2012. Visit his Website at www.davidsolway.com.
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