Today I woke up to the fact that this was in fact the first day following the conclusion of the first decade of the new millennium. What a momentous occasion.. Two Thousand and Ten, what auspiciousness, what grandeur, what futuristic sagas are waiting to grace us at the beginning of this new decade of the new millennium. New decade? New millennium? Of what?

Just when I began questioning where and when the line must be drawn between the new and the old, is when my idea of time itself caved in on itself. Indeed, this momentous occasion is marked by nothing other than the two-thousand and tenth complete revolution of the earth around the sun dating from an event that might be as fictionally inspired as it is historically inaccurate. Two thousand and ten revolutions from the proposed year of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ? And a good third of the monotheistic initiates believe that Jesus was never crucified, while the other third believes that Jesus hasn’t been born yet, much to the dismay of that remaining third which itself remains divided on the technicalities. Forget the rest of the world that doesn’t even know of the existence or the importance of Jesus to begin with. Then what’s left of the futuristic dreams of hover-boards and holographic communication?

To add to my apostate-like dismay of only being able to live in the semblance of futuristic times, looking at things through an altogether non-futuristic lens, I realised also that the calendar system that we follow so ardently, January, February, March, April, the twelve months, the leap years, the coincidental numerical occurrences, like “07/08/09” for instance, everything is derived from something called the Gregorian Calendar, something that came in the late sixteenth century, as a much needed reform for the original Julian Calendar, developed in the times of none other than Julius Caesar himself dating back (if the Gregorian isn’t archaic enough for you) to 46 BC.  Among one of the controversies of the Gregorian calendar’s adoption was that it dropped 10 days out of the Julian calendar to synchronise the calendar better with the seasonal shifts, while correcting calendarical errors worth 13 centuries of accumulation with one neat stroke.

How could one deal with the brutality of this historical truth without simply losing track of the ground underneath one’s feet, the subtle revolution of the world underneath our feet is but too devious, too mischievous, too great to be categorised by our all but too human systems of measure—that we have to retort to corrective illusions like the “leap year.” Years don’t leap, all years are the same, dictated by the gravitational balance between the mass of the earth and the mass of the sun, why then must we pretend that the year leaps every four years in February? Why should some months have 30 days, and others 31, with the exception again of February? Why is this calendar Christian, when the deities it refers to are all gods from the Roman pantheon? If BC is before Christ, and AD is after death, then what about the 30-odd years that he was alive? Did the new millennium start at the year 2000 AD or 2001 AD? And if it is the later, then has our first decade of the new millennium not ended yet? Are we still in the wrap of this vile decade that has brought so much misery and malice?

All these questions of calendars, history, and culture were only beginning to pound into a fierce migraine in the nether regions of my skull when a deafening blow would be struck. I ran into an Islamic dictate that suggested that the New Year is haram. What was this supposed to mean? Does that imply that the Old Year wasn’t haram? Are we then foolishly heading into an all-too haram year, without even knowing it? My research on the internet led me to this posting which stated, that not only was the new year haram, but any and all things Christian or Jewish in origin were simply haram, including Valentine’s day (again appearing in that devious month of February). Maybe soon we will realise that everything that happens in February is simply haram, and should never be spoken of again. But this was baseless for now, as I became faced with the great challenge, this question of how to purge everything fundamentally Christian and Jewish from this coming year to make it halal again.

One thing was for sure, if 2010 is going to be a halal year, then Christmas did not need to be taken out, as there was nothing Christian about Christmas. Not only was it impossible for Jesus to have been born on Christmas, the celebration of the holiday predates Christianity. It turns out that it aligns instead with the Winter Solstice (something not calendar-based, but astronomical). How could something so un-Christian be haram? But this was not the end of this fundamental problem of purging Christian-ness from the coming year to make it halal again. Possibly an inversion of all Christian values was needed.

So instead of “love thy neighbour,” were we to instead hate our neighbours? And instead of doing unto others as we would have them do unto us, should we be doing unto others as we would not have them do unto us? Should we be coveting our neighbour’s wives, and stealing and pillaging, substituting lies for truth? The list just seemed to go on, and on, and on. Oh how much we would have to undo, in order to make acceptable this new year. But wait, which new year? By this new year did we mean this very Christian concept of a year? A year derived from this calendar developed by the Chirstian Pope Gregory XIII? Alas it seems these Christians have all but polluted everything in sight, oh how do we undo the damage?

The only answer was to go back in time, to uproot this Christian menace from the source. We have to be brave for this, and be ready to brace ourselves for whatever will come in a non-Christian history that we will re-write. So the new year would not be 2010, instead this will be the year 2008, followed by 2007, as we slowly but surly go back in time year by year back to that dubious point in time where BC becomes AD, that is only when we will have an opportunity, a slim chance to preserve all the un-Christianness of the world, to make sure that all the years that come after that point are halal years, and not haram like this 2010 that we so narrowly have escaped.

So may all who wish to take on this brave mission with me have a joyous and prosperous 2008! Of course there will be Christian remnants in this year, but slowly we will overcome. One day, if not us, if not our children, perhaps some of the future generations will be able to live in halal history, and maybe one day they will thank us for bringing humanity back from the verge of utter disaster.

Lahore-based Asif Akhtar is interested in critical social discourse as well as the expressive facets of reactive art and is one of the schizophrenic narrators of a graphic novel. He blogs at and tweets at

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily represent the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.



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