We are Infidels
But not for long. As the masseuse started working, one man came in. Thick moustache and dressed in all white muslim outfit, he could pass as Gen. Parvez Musharaf look-alike. (You know, the president of Pakistan.)
He sat -- of all places -- between A and B. B was rather annoyed. He wanted to relax, and somehow he sensed that this man chose that seat because he wanted to start a conversation.
Sure enough, he did.
The man started with small talks, of which A and B replied reluctantly. And then the 'fun' started.
Below we gave you that part of the conversation, transcribed and freely-translated, for your convenience:
The man: So, what do you think of the indonesian playboy magazine?
(B closed his eyes. Didn't want to bother. A felt uncomfortable not to answer.)
A: Don't know. Didn't buy it. What about it?
The man: What do you mean, 'what about it?' It's pornographic ! You typical office people. Always ignorant...
A: Oh? Well, I didn't know. Why? nude pictures in it? Provocative articles?
The man: No. No nude pictures. If there was, their office would have been burned down by now.
A: Then why did you say it's pornographic?
(B sighed loudly as a show of protest. He was more annoyed now that A did not even try to end the conversation. )
The man: It's the name! The name itself is linked to pornography! How could we allow a magazine with such name in our country?
A: Just because of the name? So if the name is not Playboy, it will be ok then?
(B chuckled. He decided to play along)
B: Yeah, what if instead of Playboy, we call it Studyboy? or Workboy...?
A: Or Officeboy... Would that be ok then? Same content, just change the name?
The man started to look a little upset.
The man: Well, ok, it's not just because of the name. But it's not as simple as that.
A: What is?
The man: It's their tactics, you see. Of course they would not publish nude pictures right away. They wait. Once the people get used to the magazine, then for sure they will start publishing more and more revealing pictures.
A: So it is not pornographic now, but it MAY be in the future?
The man: YES !
A: So we are punishing them BEFORE they commit the crime?
The man: YES ! We can't wait until they really publish such filth, can we? This is a prevention. We don't want our kids to see such filth.
A: Can we do that?
The man: YES ! Of course we can ! And we should !
A: Can we do the same to all FPI members then? Can we arrest them all then?
(Note: FPI=Front Pembela Islam -- Islamic Defender Front, frequently described as a militant Islamist organization. In the news, it is said that FPI protested the magazine by throwing stones at its office building )
The man: Why? What did they do wrong?
A: Well, don't you think it's possible that in the future they may again throw stones at office buildings, may use violence, disturbing the peace ?
The man: But you can't just arrest people BEFORE they have done anything!
A: Why? Aren't we punishing Playboy for something it has not done? Didn't you say it is prevention?
The man: That's because we don't want our kids to see a dirty magazine !
A: Well, do we want our kids to watch tv and say: "Look, Daddy's on tv ! Look ! He is throwing stones at an office building! Wow, cool !" ?
We don't want that, do we?
The man, totally upset, got up and left. His masseuse was caught by surprise.
"Sir, you still have another 20 minutes..."
The man kept walking. At the door he looked back and cursed:
When A told us the story, we had some reservations. We told him it may not be wise to challenge such character. He should think more of his own safety. He should have just backed down.
Nothing good will come out of bantering at a reflexology spa.
Then A replied: "But all I did was asking questions..."
He pointed at the transcript: "Look at it. I always put it in a form of a question." We glanced through the transcript once again. He was right.
"I was merely asking questions..."
Indonesia Anonymus will give no comment.
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