January 17, 2008 Special Dispatch No. 1803

Kuwaiti Paper Satirizes "Islamic Car" Project

January 17, 2008
Kuwait, The Gulf | Special Dispatch No. 1803

In response to reports that the Malaysian automaker Proton was launching a new joint Malaysian, Turkish, and Iranian project to manufacture an Islamic automobile, the Kuwaiti daily Al-Jarida published a satirical piece by columnist Muzaffar 'Abdallah suggesting improvements to the Islamic car.

The following are excerpts:[1]

"The Malaysian automaker Proton has agreed to Islamize its cars, in a joint three-country project [involving] Malaysia, Turkey, and Iran, with [Iran] owning the patent. Let us not forget that Iran has recently failed in its marketing of the 'Sara' doll, which was meant to rival Barbie. I think Sara failed because of her heavy eyebrows.

"And now back to the subject of Islamizing Proton. The news agency report said that according to the plan, the car will have a compass pointing the driver in the direction of prayer [i.e. towards Mecca], and will [also] have a special compartment to hold a Koran.

"Having a good taste in cars, I hereby appoint myself member of the Supreme Council for Completing the Implementation of Islamization at Proton. Here are my suggestions:

· "A device will be added to the car that identifies passengers of the fair sex who are neither the driver's sister nor his mother...

· "Only water from the sacred Zamzam[2] well will be used in the car radiator, instead of those ordinary green and red fluids.

· "Purchasers... will receive a black cover for the car, to hide it from the eyes of the sun.

· "The car will be equipped with a device for those who like to travel [abroad in their car], that will indicate which country is Christian and which is Muslim, and [precisely] what school of religious thought prevails in [each Muslim country]...

· "It wouldn't hurt for the car to also have a device warning driver and passengers of places of corruption and licentiousness that they may encounter on their way, such as dance clubs and pubs.

· "For Muslims who fast during Ramadan, it is a good idea to equip the car with a 'dates and milk'[3] dispenser... […]

"The next stage of this tripartite project will focus on Christians and Jews... For each religion – its very own vehicle!"


[1] Al-Jarida, Kuwait, November 21, 2007.

[2] The Zamzam Well in Mecca is holy to Muslims, who believe that it was the well shown by Allah to Hagar as she wandered in the desert with her son Isma'il (Ishmael). Its waters are believed to have special qualities.

[3] Traditionally eaten to break the fast.

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