A Cowboy

There’s been some changes lately ’round these parts. Spilling over the countryside from hill to holler, Muslim immigrants have poured in by the millions. And they ain’t just in the big cities anymore. No, sir. They’re in our small towns, too, and some of ’em are even getting themselves elected to public office. Now, I don’t have nothing against Muslims personally—I truly don’t—but I believe when something needs saying, a man oughta come right out and say it.

So I will: Islam ain’t compatible with country-western culture. It just ain’t.

Before you go crying racist, hear me out. Think of everything country-western civilization has achieved, from cowboy boots to honky-tonks to the mournful wail of the steel guitar. The media will tell you not every Muslim is an extremist, but be that as it may, these folks still don’t have no tradition of chugging down a cold one and getting up to line dance when “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” comes on, do they? It ain’t a matter of Islamophobia. It’s the plain ol’ truth. How can people who submit to Sharia law fit into a culture that celebrates hard-livin’outlaws like Waylon Jennings, Johnny Paycheck, and the Redheaded Stranger himself, Willie Nelson?

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From what I hear, their Muhammad don’t hold no truck with alcohol, period. Not a six-pack of light beer, not a little moonshine you snuck from your grandpappy’s still—nothing. Hell, they’d probably stone a man to death just for going shot-for-shot with a drinking buddy at the roadhouse.

Open up the Quran, and I don’t believe you’ll read a single line about climbin’ into a beat-up F-150, crankin’ up the Alabama, and floorin’ it all the way to your favorite watering hole.

Look, Muslims can do whatever they want back in their homeland, but over here, we cherish our freedoms, like the right to boo and hurl bottles at the stage if the band does something I don’t agree with, such as throwing a John Denver tune into their set. That’s simple freedom of expression.

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And don’t get me started on how they treat their women. First off, in country-western society, we know there ain’t no one on this earth more important than Mama. Second, we don’t go covering up our ladies in burkas and whatnot. You see, Muslim dress codes don’t allow for no tight-fittin’ blue jeans, let alone Daisy Duke cutoffs or a shirt knotted at the midriff. Thankfully, a country-western woman is allowed to whip her hair free from her ponytail and dance on a whiskey-soaked bar anytime she pleases. That’s her God-given right.

If a Muslim stepped foot on the sawdust-strewn floor of a tavern, would he even know to shout “Yee-haw” instead of “Allahu Akbar”? If he went to a square dance, would he bow toward his partner or bow toward Mecca?

Let me be clear: This ain’t just about religion. I’ve got no problem with Lutherans, for example, or even Catholics. Heck, I once seen a Jewess saunter up to the jukebox in a pair of shitkickers and punch up a Loretta Lynn song. That’s fine by me, sister! But it’s naïve to think a Muslim could accept country-western values. He’d rather wear one of them long robe things than old, faded Levi’s and an embroidered fringe shirt with two crossing acoustic guitars made out of rhinestones on the back. And anyhow, a Stetson just can’t cover up a headscarf.

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Nowadays, I hear folks talking about all the “good” Muslims who are supposedly our friends and neighbors, just as likely as we are to play a six string by the campfire or ride a mechanical bull. That’s a load of horseshit. We need to get off our barstools and fight for our country-western culture of hitting the dance floor and kicking up your heels.

But then again, maybe I’m too much of a bitter soul. My good-hearted woman loves me in spite of my many wicked ways. I know I can be downright on’ry and mean. And the truth is, folks are basically the same all over this blue marble of ours.

Maybe it’s time we all set aside our feuds and come together to do-si-do.

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