Written by Noshing Mink
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Saturday, 22 December 2007

image for Sales of Haj 2007 merchandise top 1 billion
"Do we have any Mohammeds in the crowd?"

As millions of pilgrims begin the trek home from this year's Haj, organisers of the festival have declared the event a "tremendous success". Estimates put the gross turnover at over $1 billion. However, in accordance with strict custom, which decrees that it is wrong to make a profit, all proceeds will go to a charity aimed at teaching young men to fly aeroplanes.

Souvenirs include t-shirts with the logo "Muslims won't budge, if they've been to Haj" and CDs of the various rock groups that played at the event, such as Ali and the Babas, the Talibands and Bear Without a Name. "Arranged Marriage" kits have also proved popular, containing a photo of a handsome young man to show to your daughter, a one-way ticket to Pakistan and a chloroform sponge to use on her when she realises that the groom is really her 50 year old uncle.

Fairground stalls also enjoyed record takings, with "Stoning the Devil" attracting the biggest crowds. In that game, participants throw stones at wooden dummies dressed up like the British police. Waddington's latest board game "Escape from Guantanamo" was sold out.

However, not everyone is pleased about the festivities. Yusuf Mustafa Ahmed, the farmer who owns the field where the pilgrims gathered, told our reporter:

"They didn't bother to take their rubbish home with them. I therefore have a collosal task clearing up thousands of goat-flavoured crisp packets, empty semtex sleeves and wrong-size suicide belts. By the time I clear it all up, they'll be back for next year's festival."

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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