Slightly bored last Thursday afternoon, I converted to Islam to see what it was like. All I had to do was intone the Shahada – ‘La ilaha illa Allah, Muhammadun Rasul Allah’ – and then have a nice shower with some Head and Shoulders to wash away the deluded Christian filth that had hitherto cloaked my physical being, the musty detritus of a decadent creed. I have to say, once converted, it didn’t feel terribly different inside but on the plus side I was immediately offered several senior posts with the BBC and the Arts Council which I may or may not take up.
Bored again on Friday, I decided to renounce Islam, which I did by reciting the Shahada backwards: ‘hallA lusaR nudammahuM, hallA alli ahali aL’ and having another shower – at which point a small shaitan with glowing red depthless eyes materialised by the sideboard and told me to ‘Stop taking the piss, sunshine.’ Theoretically I am dead meat, as Sharia law insists that the punishment for apostasy should be execution, which fact the shaitan kindly explained to me. It is not the most easily forgiving of religions, which is perhaps its greatest strength. When, on that Thursday, I renounced Christianity all that happened was a kind of hologram of Justin Welby briefly flickered in front of me and said: ‘Ah well, no use crying over spilt milk. Jesus won’t mind, so long as you still carry out your waste recycling diligently and don’t mis-gender anyone. Have a nice day.’
Meanwhile, on the good ship Bibby Stockholm, the Muslim asylum-seekers are queuing up to convert to Christianity. At least 40 migrants have made the metaphysical journey from Muhammed (pbuh) to Jesus Christ (and him, too, although not as much, obvs, if you are a Muslim), the consequence perhaps of having watched Welby talking on TV and understandably having been smitten by the power of his word, the intellect, the consistency of thought and so on.