Kipling wouldn’t have written “never the twain will meet” had he known Farah Haque. East and West form an organic unity in her soul.
Originally from Bangladesh, Miss Haque eventually moved to England. There she has acquired every signature trait of her new countrymen, while still staying in touch with her indigenous culture.
As a peripatetic Briton, Miss Haque travelled to Thailand where for the past few months she has been teaching – not her native Bengali, but English.
Yesterday she flouted the Muslim injunction against alcohol and got roaring drunk (or “shitfaced”, as she’d probably say). In that state Miss Haque displayed a feat of British athleticism by climbing onto a Buddhist shrine, while still holding on to a can of beer.
From that vantage point she screamed abuse at passers-by, displaying native command of her acquired language, at least the part of it that’s nowadays used most widely. The integrated Miss Farah showed she was au courant even with increasingly popular Americanisms by frankly describing her grateful listeners as “mother****ers”.
As one does, she also screamed “whores the whole lot of you”, “get the f*** out of here you f***ing paedophile” and “ugly c***”. If that isn’t typical of a Briton relaxing in a foreign land, I don’t know what is.
However, to prove that she hasn’t quite renounced her Islamic roots, Miss Haque also chanted “Allahu akbar!”, although eschewing the self-detonation that frequently accompanies that cry.
Actually, everyone present could ascertain that she wasn’t wearing a suicide belt. For, striking another blow for integration, Miss Haque was wearing nothing at all.
That shows that, while still espousing Islam, she isn’t beholden to its misogynist strictures. For not only did Miss Haque neglect to cover her face, but she left the rest of her body uncovered as well. One detects a welcome rebellion against male tyranny, along with a proud upholding of another newly popular British trait: casual exhibitionism.
Nowadays Britons, especially women, happily drop their clothes and prance about naked. Moreover, they then take selfies of their bodies and post them on the Internet for our delectation.
Now, since Adam and Eve committed that little indiscretion in the Garden of Eden, those whose culture has biblical antecedents (otherwise known as civilised people) have been covering their nudity in public. Women who casually removed their clothing for all to see used to be considered decadent at best, loose at worst.
Even a couple of decades ago, naked women posed for National Geographic, not public media this side of girlie or pornographic magazines. All that has changed.
Girls whip their tops off at office parties, university students stage naked demonstrations against things they don’t like, celebrities routinely pose nude, middle-aged women produce a nude calendar of themselves and become celebrities as a result. But it gets worse.
Indecent exhibitionism, like just about everything else today, is elevated to an ideological tenet, a valid expression of rebellion against convention. Even worse, exhibitionists like to pontificate on public indecency in didactic tones. They are joyously, proudly anomic.
Ulrika Jonsson, another thoroughly integrated Briton (she arrived here in 1979, aged 13), says: “I have no problem being naked. I’ll happily walk through the house without a stitch on, and wouldn’t feel uncomfortable being seen naked by family or friends…”
It’s her house, and she can do whatever she likes in it. But she then takes nude selfies and collects countless ‘likes’ on the net. In her youth, Miss Jonsson’s exhibitionism could have at least opened up some commercial possibilities, but her tattooed body has lost its saleable appeal in her 50s. So what’s that all about?
“I’d posted it as an illustration of personal and physical freedom,” says Miss Jonsson. “To me, a naked human body, male or female, is nature in its rawest form.” Absolutely. So is killing. So is theft. So is public copulation. The purpose of civilisation is precisely to curb “nature in its rawest form”.
Lest you might think Miss Jonsson betrays her Swedish heritage, impeccably British Kelly Brook, Liz Hurley, Helen Mirren and countless others not only do nude scenes in films (this is an ironclad career requirement these days), but also pose for snaps that leave little to imagination in the after hours.
Since celebrities are role models for our comprehensively educated masses, exhibitionism has become a popular sport in Britain. So I’m proud of Farah Haque. The odd ‘allahu akbar’ notwithstanding, she has adapted perfectly to the culture of her new home.