Johnny Taliban at UCLA: a satire

Posted: Jul 18, 2002 12:00 AM
UCLA is a wonderful, tolerant, diverse place. So it should come as no shock to anyone that John Walker Lindh, the American Taliban, will be attending this institution of higher learning 20 years from now, when he gets out of jail. Walker is a kook. A nut. A Muslim extremist wacko who hates America and everything for which it stands. He'll fit right in. Getting into UCLA was a cinch. Now, he only has to defer his admission for 20 years. On his admissions essay, he described all of his life challenges. He wrote of his victimization by the "Great Satan." He had to study the Koran in a small 10-foot-by-10-foot cell because the prison was too crowded. But Allah saw him through. The UCLA admissions board loved his application, despite his lack of grades or SAT scores. "I couldn't stop weeping," said one of the board members. "He's such a wonderful young man. I know we'll be lucky to have him when he gets out." The choice to go to UCLA was a tough one for Mr. Walker. Harvard, Brown, Columbia and Berkeley offered him full scholarships and 72 virgins, but in the end, it was the sense of belonging he felt at UCLA that persuaded him. Prominent student groups will open their arms to him. Many of the professors will make him feel right at home. His classmates might even elect him "Most Likely to Succeed." That is, if he doesn't blow up the Student Union first. The first in line to greet him will be the president of the Undergraduate Students Association Council (USAC). The ever-lovable USAC president, wearing a burqa so as not to offend Mr. Walker and removing her shoes to avoid making a "clicking noise" while walking, will welcome him to UCLA. "We need more people like Mr. Walker!" she'll shout from the top of the Student Union. "He adds diversity to the student body! He's a Muslim, and he's radical!" (He's white, too, but I guess you can't have it all.) Confronting a protester against Mr. Walker's presence, she will yell, "As the future leaders of the global community, we must think critically about our actions and show compassion toward all of humanity. Look at this man! Hasn't he been victimized enough by our terrible, horrible totalitarian capitalist government? Do you have to add to his pain?" After registering for an international development studies class, a sociology course and an Arabic course to help him "relearn what I learned in Pakistan," Walker will quickly become involved in campus politics, rising to the top of the national Muslim Student Association and becoming editor of UCLA's Muslim newsmagazine, Al-Talib, everyone's favorite terrorism-supporting tandem. The national MSA-supported groups have allegedly helped fund terrorist organizations around the globe ("Reports link terrorist, student organizations," Daily Bruin, Jan. 8). In 2001, Al-Talib ran ads for the Holy Land Foundation, a "charity" connected to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, and called Osama Bin Laden a "prominent Muslim activist"(Ten Years of Revolution Issue, p. 22). Walker won't have a problem getting funding -- he'll just appeal to Saudi Arabia. The gay groups on campus will be especially glad to see Mr. Walker. After all, John is the son of one of the country's most famous homosexuals, Frank Lindh. Frank will be offered a lifetime contract as contributor to the campus gay magazine, where his monthly column will discuss how to be a responsible parent. John will be a frequent speaker at the communist Spartacus Youth Club, where he will be asked to explain his victimization by the West. He will hold monthly "teach-ins," wherein John will explain that Islam really is a religion of peace, while burning American flags. John's rise to stardom will be complete once he dominates the USAC elections. Walker will run as a left/center candidate -- he will propose destroying only religiously Christian strongholds, such as the Bible Belt. Unfortunately, Johnny's developing career will be tragically cut short when he blows himself up in opposition to a speech on campus by former First Lady Laura Bush. The UCLA population will mark him down as a martyr to the anti-Western cause, and life will return to normal. At least until Osama decides he wants to go to college.