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The Caspian Monster approached the Kabul airport. It was a strange unwieldy craft and was known in the West as a Power-Augmented-Ram Wing-in Ground Effect machine or Par-Wig. The twelve engine aircraft glided over the ground and landed. The 900 assault troops on board quickly secured the airport with their fellow soldiers from the two other Par-Wigs that had landed with the first. The Soviet take over of Afghanistan had begun.
Islam is a threat to Russia. Any political force that is permeated with a religious belief that directs each and every facet of life is foreign and counter productive in the Soviet plan. Much of their southern states are heavily populated by Muslims: Uzbek SSR with 85%, Turkmen SSR with 82%, Azerbaijan SSR with 82%, Kazakn SSR with 41%. In fact close to 17% of the total Soviet population is Muslim. Before the revolution there were 34,000 mosques active while today there is a total of 400. Most of the worshippers are old, and white haired. Their youth are part of the Soviet culture where religion is forgotten and discarded in an atheistic Communist state. Yet with the power of Islam, with the new awakening from a sleep of 600 years, the threat of revolution, the threat of change further adds to the uncertainty Russia has toward the infringing states that line her southern borders.
Abdulmujeed Mitab was a Kafir or unbeliever. His face and name hid the fact from the fellow worshipers who were celebrating the beginning of Islam's 1,400 th year. Mecca's sacred mosque, the harem encloses the Kaaba, the most sacred site in Islam. He was here as an observer; he was one of 50 Soviets who has been allowed to make thepilgrimage. A pilgrimage that every Moslem is required to make at least once in his life. But Abdulmujeed was here for another reason. He was here to watch the success of a revolution. Soon events would throw the states of Islam in a state of paralyzes.
The many states of the Near East with their reservoirs of black liquid gold had changed from the nomadic Bedouin to a highly modernized society dependent on the West for their modern conveniences and their food. By their position in the underbelly of the Soviet Union and their importance in fueling the western economies, each option and political action by Sheiks and Princes affected the volatile markets of the west. This further enforced the need of the Soviet Union to carve out a territorial expression with a direct pathway to the Mediterranean. Each of the super powers needed control. Each of the super powers failed to understand the physique of the Muslim mind. Each of the super powers feared the repercussions if their sphere of influence waned at the expense of the other.
The Russian solution was to instill distrust among the developing countries, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the Israeli-Palestine conflict continued to ferment and spawn discord and distrust.
The American solution was less effective and related to the power of modern western society. Its policies of United States first and then other nations next, build poor foundations. As a foreign policy it left a great deal open to criticism. Few of the Islamic states considered America a trusted friend.
David Niven stepped off the plane and walked into the dream world of Princess Grace and the little country of Monaco. He was on assignment to cover the anniversary of Grace Kelly and her marriage to her prince. She was still the sweetheart of America. Her movie acting career with other stars like Gary Cooper in High Noon were as fresh today as it was on its first release. He checked his watch and as if by coincidence the noon hour had arrived.
Monaco was small, half a square mile of territory surrounded by France. A territory that was like a fairy kingdom which every girl and boy had dreamt about in early childhood. How was David Niven to know he was about to discover something that could destroy the foundations of the Islamic faith?
An old man trudged wearily back to his rented one room flat. He was close to eighty and was stooped with the troubles of age. He was dressed in a manner that brought stares from residences. The Bedouin custom of dress was strange to the people accustomed to the influx of pleasure seekers who made Monaco the jewel of the Mediterranean. The sight of an old Islamic scholar was unusual when scholarly endeavors were abandoned for the trivial and decadent lifestyle of the rich and the morally corrupt when compared to the beliefs of this one man.
He had spent his life studying and researching the life of Mohammed. He knew more about the foundations of the Islamic religion than anyone did. In the Islamic world he was respected. In the Western world he was unknown. Why he had spent three years in Monaco was due to a discovery of some ancient chronicles of Uqba Ibn Nafi, an Islamic general who spread the word of Islam to the West Coast of Africa. It was said that as he had stepped into the Atlantic, he had cried, "I have carried my faith as far as Allah permits. If but for this sea I would carry it further."
A historian who had followed the spread of Mohammed's word across the known world had written this material. In just over 1000 years Islam had become that largest and most diversified political force. Its pursuit of knowledge was beyond that found in the more primitive and feudal centers of Picts, Scots, and Franks. Deep within these papers the old scholar had found a description of Uqba. The description presented a hidden face that showed another side of Uqba and provided for an unsettling possibility. It described Uqba returning to the edge of the Atlantic in the dead of night. In his hands he held a casket and with a cry that accompanied its flight into the sea Uqba was recorded as saying "Oh Mohammed I have carried your word, I have given my life and with this casket I cleanse my soul."
The papers were ancient and stained with age.
The richness of Monaco attracted all sorts of individuals. Some were interested in milking the easy money that flowed from the gambling tables or alternatively was available with careful second story work. Silent shadows crept into apartments and removed valuables with which the rich adorned themselves.
The mix of people covered all traits and characteristics. From those interested in finding easy wealth or even those who have methods of protecting it.
Christopher Stern had come at the request of the government of Monaco. The Prince was in need of some professional advice and his firm was considered the best. Christopher smiled at the thought, years before his parent's home was broken into and from that moment on, he had decided to find methods to prevent the scum from gaining wealth and assets at the expense of people who had worked their life time to achieve these goals. He had turned a feeling of contempt into a valued and respected business. C=Cure had a large clientele and once a reputation was made, it in turn acted as a catalyst in drawing in new customers.
His appointment was for 10 A.M. and the Prince would be in attendance.
The sun was bright and shone into the smallest corner of the room. The Prince was not dressed in anything that indicated his status. Chris had hoped, like a child, that royalty were different. He wasn't greatly surprised to find they were just humans after all.
"So you feel that your firm can install a security system that will fool even the most sophisticated thief!" the Prince declared.
Copyright © 2005 George W.J. Laidlaw