With that encouraging thought in mind, I set about figuring out exactly how I might get into Inspire. I soon decided to take a relatively humble and unassuming – and, let’s face it, realistic – approach. Given my utter lack of terrorist credentials, it seemed to me less reasonable to submit a potential cover story than to try to break into the back the book and, in time, attempt to move up from there. An astrology page? Too un-Islamic. Music reviews? Ditto. A mixology column? Uh, nope. Finally I hit upon a killer idea (metaphorically speaking): why not try to become Inspire‘s crossword-puzzle guy? Who knows – maybe this could lead to a regular gig with the real al-Qaeda!
So I banged out a crossword, full of the right kind of scriptural material and everything. I was pretty proud of it. But after consulting with a few of my close and trusted advisers, I reluctantly came to the conclusion that it might, after all, be inadvisable to offer my services to Inspire. As my good friend Ali put it, “You filthy, vile, repellent, sodomitic, hell-bound infidel, you should know that anything even remotely suggestive of the pattern of a cross is by its very nature haram, and for the very act of including the name of the most blessed Prophet (pbuh) in such a disgusting and loathsome creation you deserve to be tortured and tormented for all eternity in the severest possible manner that Allah can devise.” I may have misinterpreted him, owing to cultural differences, but that sounded like a thumbs-down.
So there I was, stuck with my crossword puzzle. After pondering the matter for a while, I decided to hand it over to the editors of this site, who after agreeing to a modest payment (I’ve assured them that the check is in the mail) agreed to run it.
Here, then, for your edification, is my crossword puzzle – which was tailor-made for the Inspire reader, but which I hope will be of some interest to you as well.