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Tuesday, 9 December 2008

image for Stoning the Devil at Hajj Turns Chaotic as Devil Throws Stones Back at Pilgrims
The devil's aim improves with practice as he throws stones back at Hajj pilgrims

Mecca, Saudi Arabia - Three million pilgrims at the 2008 Hajj were stunned when the devil threw stones back at them. The stoning of the devil is one of a series of rituals during the annual pilgrimage to Mecca that every able-bodied Muslim is expected to complete at least once in his or her lifetime.

The stoning of the devil ritual relates back to the time of Ibrahim (Abraham) and Ishmael, prominent figures in Islam, Judaism and Christianity.

According to Biblical tradition, Ibrahim was ordered by God to make a human sacrifice of his son, Ishmael, as a sign of obedience. However, the devil appeared three times to Ibrahim and attempted to dissuade him from obeying God's order to kill his son.

Controversially, the archangel Gabriel was on the scene and told Ibrahim to "Pelt him" with stones, so the devil withdrew.

Pilgrim Ibrahim Baasim from Qatar was present at the three walls representing the devil at the Hajj when the incident happened.

"I was there along with several thousand other pilgrims pelting the first wall with seven pebbles, as is our custom, and recalling my hatred for my own internal despot," explained Bassim.

"Then all of a sudden, the wall started hurling the pebbles back at us! The air was thick with stones like a plague of locus raining down on us. It really hurt. People panicked and stampeded to get away."

A close examination of the wall conducted by a commission of several Hajj organisers and top religious consultants concluded that indeed it was the devil throwing stones at the pilgrims.

According to a Hajj spokesperson, the devil spoke to the group, identified himself, and explained his actions.

"I'm sick and tired of being stoned ever since Gabriel put that idea into Ibrahim's head thousands of years ago back in the Book of Genesis," said the devil, according to an anonymous source. "I think I've turned the other cheek just about enough, don't you."

According to the unnamed source, the devil defended himself, saying all he was trying to do was stop infanticide.

"There weren't any Child Protection Services then or anonymous call-in lines to report such parental abuse. What else could I do but try to stop it myself. Maybe Ibrahim would have listened to me or his wife Hagar if Gabriel hadn't interfered."

When the devil was asked by the holy men in the investigating commission whether he had acted purely as a Good Samaritan or if self interest was involved, he replied, "What the hell are you talking about?"

"A child's life was imminently hanging in the balance. Does CPS query the motives of everyone trying to report serious potential child abuse before they properly investigate? Get your priorities straight for god's sake."

The commission asked the devil why he had waited what seemed like an eternity before he struck back at the pilgrims pelting him with stones. "Well, I don't have any bones, so sticks and stones can't really hurt me," explained the devil. "But it was the name-calling that stuck in my craw."

"As for the timing, well, I'll grant them this one point at least. Pop music made me do it. I was listening to pop music and got hooked on the 'Enough Is Enough (No More Tears)' duet from 1979 by Donna Summer and Barbra Streisand. After 20 years, I guess it finally got to me."

The devil has apparently said that he intends to throw stones back at pilgrims from now on at every future Hajj during the annual Mecca pilgrimage.

"I'll be particularly aiming at any pilgrim named Gabriel," said the devil, still intent on settling old scores.

As it turned out, God apparently was just testing Ibrahim to make sure that he didn't listen to the advice of his wife or any other sane and sensible person who tried to dissuade him from killing his son Ishmael. At the last moment, Ibrahim was told to put down his knife and not slit his son's throat in a blood sacrifice.

According to an anonymous source, the devil stated that he was certainly glad about that, but it left a lot to chance with too much Hollywood last minute heroics. "I don't care what they say; the end doesn't justify the means. This wasn't 'tough love' parenting, it was abuse."

In addition to rocking the world and three of its major religions, the devil's stoning of the pilgrims at Mecca is having numerous ripple effects as well.

Ishmael has now claimed recovered memory of the sacrificial event and his lawyers are suing God, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity for damages of 5,000 years of post-traumatic stress syndrome for emotional abuse as well as physical abuse for unnecessary circumcision.

Ishmael's solicitors have stated that it has now turned into a large class action suit with millions of plaintiffs joining in.

"This should tie them up for years to come," said the devil smugly. "After all, the devil's in the detail. Gabriel should have thought of that and all the other consequences when he said 'Pelt him'."

It remains undecided whether the Ishmael class action lawsuit will be heard in Sharia court where cruel and barbaric punishments such as stoning may be considered alongside more enlightened options.

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

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