The Future of Secularism: Chapter 7

THE FIRST SALVO

The next morning was a Tuesday morning.

So I told you all about the flag incident, and meeting Khattab. Now we can move back to the incident with Professor Murat (see the first chapter if you have a bad memory), which was the next day, before the great soccer match and the event that changed my life. (I could point out that in a way, all events ‘change’ our life. Then I could get really philosophical and point out that our life can’t really change, because any so-called change we make was destined and laid out for us [nor is this a religious view only; see a metaphysical discussion of time travel] and so we really didn’t do anything different from what had to happen. Just some food for thought).  

I was still perturbed by what Khattab did, so I didn’t go to school. I couldn’t face him. I was too confused. Was I that out of things, that I didn’t realize the strength of the Party... What about the other Islamic groups, who sometimes seemed to join forces with them? And the small, sidelined people’s liberation groups, socialist, secularist and communist organizations? What part did they play? I didn’t know much about the Party. People said there were hundreds of thousands of members, all under-cover, and it was well organized through the mosques.

I wondered if Khattab was the only one at the Academy.

I wondered, maybe he was a spy for the government, deciding to take me for a ride -- kind of like O’Brien (and it really pissed me off because I could never figure out if that resistance was real.) Maybe the Party was a front, an excuse for the constant curfews and the like. Maybe I was thinking too hard.  

I had Khattab’s poem in my pocket. I copied it down, because it meant a lot to me. Khattab’s poem made me write one of my own. Both of these poems would also mean that, were I found with them on me, that grenade that would one day kill Khattab and I would have been aimed at me just as much as it would be at him. 

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