My online contribution to a holy poll

My online contribution to a holy poll

How much of a taxpayer’s money the mighty Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) spends every year is an irrelevant figure. Suffice it to say that this non-ministerial government department’s annual budget surpasses those of 10 ministries combined (see any financial year’s budgetary figures for proof). Correcting this “slanderous” accusation, Diyanet last year released an angrily worded statement that said: a) such unfair allegations were totally baseless, and b) 95 percent of its spending went to salaries. In this correction, though, Diyanet did not correct one point: that its annual budget surpassed those of 10 ministries combined.

Diyanet has hit headlines again. This time, news reports said that it had commissioned the state statistics agency, TUIK, to conduct a poll in which, unsurprisingly, government pollsters asked their respondents questions like, “which religion and sect do you belong to?” Pity the pollsters did not knock on my door. But I shall volunteer to give my answers online. Here are some of Diyanet’s questions in this serious research and, in brackets, my answers:

-- When do you pray? (I’ll tell you if you tell me when you pray.)

-- Do you play loto (a football betting game)? (I don’t. But if you ask this because betting games amount to gambling and therefore sinning in Islam, you better go ask the Finance Ministry how much tax money your Islamist government raises from betting games every year.)

-- When you visit a friend’s home, do men and women sit in separate rooms? (We used to, thinking that someone might rape his friend’s wife if we sat in the same room. Until we discovered that one of our lady friends was a lesbian and harassed another friend’s wife and, in another occasion, we caught a gay couple in the act in a men’s-only chatting room. Since then we have been sitting in three rooms designated for men, women and homosexuals.)

-- Is it a sin to drink but not to get drunk? (I don’t think it is a sin. But some of my friends, especially Greeks and Irish, think it is. They think it is not only a sin but also a shame to drink so little and not get drunk.)

-- Do you use bank loans on interest? (No. I work with Paradise Bank, which offers its clients 150-year loans of up to $10 million with zero interest.)

-- Do you tell tiny lies? (Only when I am asked silly questions by government-paid pollsters.)

-- Do you cover your head when you go out? (Sometimes. Especially with a cap when it is raining, or with a fancy Panama hat when it is too sunny.)

-- Do you visit Muslim saints’ shrines (to make wishes)? (I don’t. But I intend to start visiting every sepulcher in town to ask the saints to keep Islamofascists away from everyone’s homes.)

-- Do you think angels would visit homes where inhabitants keep dogs as pets? (No they would not. We kept dogs for many years and I did not see any angels at home. I also kept a cat for 11 years and, sadly, no angels came to visit my home. The trouble is those ungrateful angels did not even pay a visit to any home that I have known of, with or without pets.)

-- How devout is your family? (My family is devout at a magnitude of 3.29 qbbws. Pollster: I beg your pardon? Me: Well, that’s a new measure, available online, go visit and download the program. There is even a new version, How Devout Are You? V.3.1.2 which gives you more precise results based on a qbbws scale.)

-- Do you make your will so as to bequeath twice more property to male members of your family than female members (as commanded in the Quran)? (I shall bequeath all my property to the Union of Devout Pollsters’ male members who pass the How Devout Are You test at a 9.21 qbbws grade or more.)

-- Do you consider a political candidate’s piety when voting? (I do not vote for any politician below 3.29 qbbws.)