Don’t Do What the Mullah Does


One of my Afghan drivers never missed a chance to make sarcastic comments about religion in general and the Islamic clergy in particular whenever we passed a mosque on our long journeys across the country. One of his remarks that I recall is as follows: “Do what the mullah says, but don’t do what he does.”

Another guy, who was hired as a translator, used to drink whiskey with my colleagues whenever we were able to get some. When asked what his wife would say on the account of his alcoholic odor, he answered: “Oh, I always tell her I drank Coca-Cola. She’s never tasted it anyway.” But one day, he refused to share a drink, saying his father-in-law, a mullah, was visiting and would immediately notice he drank the forbidden stuff. “Does the mullah know how whiskey smells?”, I asked in disbelief. “Sure, he does!” came his woeful reply. I guess he even knew how it tasted.