A unique heart-to-heart has taken place between the two Big Players in world affairs - God and Allah. It is hotly rumoured to have occurred somewhere in Bradford where the two Supreme Beings have been lving in secret for some time in two adjacent terraced houses. (They discovered early on in their new-found relationship that however much they liked one another there was always going to be a problem at mealtimes with halal meat.)
However, in all other respects the pair started to discover very early on that they actually had a lot in common. And then the confessions started and went on long into the night. They were initiated by God who admitted that sending Jesus Christ had been "a colossal error of judgment".
"They simply weren't ready for him" he said, wiping away a salty tear. "The timing was hopelessly wrong, and even in those barbaric times men and women were aware that it takes a man and a woman to make a baby, not "a Virgin and a Supreme Being." So what did they do in the end with my beautiful boy? They executed him because he was a rebel and a troublemaker. And I can't really blame them for that. Business is business, and he upset a lot of people when he kicked the money lenders out of the Temple. And as for all those purported "miracles", they were nothing more than a mix of hysteria and unreliable reportage."
"It's alright, my old mate," said Allah, "I've had my fuck-ups as well. I mean what is the use of me claiming to be "the one and only Supreme Being" when it's pretty obvious that you can make a similarly unreliable claim?! It's just plain stupid, and I apologise for that. And as for all this crap about "Paradise and Virgin Handmaidens", I am sincerely sorry, because I have to confess that it is only half-truth. YES, there is a Paradise, but NO there are no Virgins, and now Paradise is so overcrowded with all these suicide bombers and what have you that I've had to bail out. And that's more or less why I'm now forced to live in Bradford like an illegal immigrant."
"So what about Muhammad The Prophet?" asked God. "What were you trying to achieve with him?"
"That's an easy one" said Allah, "world domination by indoctrination. Nothing to it. Just persuade the weak-minded to keep repeating the same old superstitious mumbo-jumbo all down the line, and you can't go wrong. The Koran's a beauty for that. Works every time. Trouble is though, all you wind up with in the end is all this Fundamentalism. Fanatics and raving lunatics. Osama Bin-Laden and Al-Qaeda. It's just going nowhere, God, I'm forced to admit that."
"It's okay, Allah, my old mucker," said God, "it's not all down to you, you know. Armies of so-called "Christians" have been waging Religious Wars, persecuting other religions, and generally putting non-Christians to the sword for centuries - IN MY NAME. I mean it's embarrassing is what it is, and I can't help feeling ashamed. It's not at all how I wanted it to be, but sadly everything I ever said has been misinterpreted and used by mankind to further their own bloodthirsty agenda. If I had my way, we'd all be living happily together in peace and harmony, all one lovely fluffy brotherhood. No more differences. No more scores to settle. No more blood-letting. Just one great big happy multi-coloured multi-national family."
"That's mighty decent of you God" said Allah, " and I believe you, because at the bottom line that's all I ever wanted as well. But it doesn't seem to be happening anytime soon."
"You're right there Allah" said God. "What with the situation in the Middle East with Israel and Palestine spending most of eternity squabbling over the Gaza Strip, Irag in permanent turmoil, Iran still living in the dark ages, and Afghanistan a seemingly insoluble para-military fuck-up, what the hell chance does World Peace really have? And then of course you've got the Irish, and that situation over there really winds me up. I mean the stupid no-brain Irish can't even get it together to share the same Church! Instead they've managed to divide the same basic religion into "Protestants and Catholics" just so they can keep on torturing and murdering one another IN THE NAME OF THE SAME GOD! Where the hell is that coming from? It beggars belief, if you'll pardon the pun."
"So what on earth (my turn to pun, mate, sorry) are the two of us going to do about this "GOD/ALLAH UNHOLY FUCKED-UP MESS?"
"I'll tell you a secret" said God, with a twinkle in His Ancient Eye, "it's so simple at the bottom line you'll probably die laughing when you hear it. And it goes like this. We go on primetime television together, holding hands and looking all happy, and we announce to the world that ALL RELIGION IS A MONUMENTALLY BAD IDEA. Nothing good has ever come out of it and we would like to declare to all the peoples of the world that WE GOT IT WRONG AND WE'RE VERY SORRY. And then we take one copy of THE HOLY BIBLE, and one copy of THE KORAN, and we make a ceremonial bonfire out of the two of them. Easy. Job done. World peace will follow and mankind, and of course womankind, can live happily ever after."
"Yes, I must admit that's pretty neat, God" said Allah, "however I do detect one minor drawback to this Masterplan of yours. Aren't people worldwide going to be pretty pissed off when we remove the whole fabric of their lives, their whole "raison d'être", in one fell swoop?"
"I never said it wouldn't be a bit risky, dear boy" said God, "so let me put it this way. Since we're both Immortal anyway, what's the worst that could happen?!"