February 2005 (v7 i4)
Counting the Ways Since 1997
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Martha Stewart joins Nation of Islam
by Elizabeth Barksdale, Associate Editor

I will cut you. Then I’ll sew a doily on your
ALDERSON, WV — After vowing to join the prison reform movement when her much-publicized incarceration ends March 6, Martha Stewart shocked the world Tuesday when she announced that she is joining the Nation of Islam.

"Salaam, everybody!" said Stewart in a message posted on her Web site.

"I think it's really neat that a Greater Truth and Wisdom has been revealed to me. Yes, brothers and sisters, a Truth even more life-changing than my discovery that feathers glued to a lampshade can look sophisticated when done right," declared Stewart, who is serving a five-month sentence at a federal correction institute.

"From this day forward, whether I'm concocting a delicious new crème brûlée recipe or embroidering holiday towels for my third guest bathroom, I will now follow the path set down by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Divine Nation of Islam."

The Nation of Islam, founded in 1930, gains many new converts in U.S. prison facilities every year.

Stewart explains how she was converted by fellow inmate Fatima LaVonda Muhammad.

"At first, Sister Martha and I weren't all that tight," admitted Ms. Muhammad.

"I used to be like everybody else, thinking she was a soulless bitch even though I sometimes watched her show on TV while I snorted blow out of a baggie. I used to think she was even further from Allah than I ever was — even back when I was slingin' caine."

"But the ways set down by Elijah Muhammad taught me the patience to visit Sister Martha. One day I saw her sitting alone, carving a houndstooth pattern into this sorry-ass excuse for a shiv," explained Ms. Mohammad.

"Then I realized it was a knitting needle. I asked her if she could use it to help me re-ink the tattoos on my neck, and she said yeah. So I started telling her about the glories of Islam."

"Sister Fatima changed my life that day," said Stewart. "I praise Allah that I didn't go with my first impulse and stab her. You never know who your friends are in the big house, you know. Anyway, Fatima explained to me that Allah had willed me to be in prison for a reason."

"I thought I could get back to my good life, but in accordance with the will of Allah, I can lead a better life, a Sacred life. And I already have some great ideas for macramé prayer rugs!"

Stewart's sudden decision to convert initially confused the Nation's leaders, especially Minister Louis Farrakhan, the current leader and spokesman of the Nation.

"We were ecstatic, of course, that Ms. Stewart has ascertained of the buoyant hope and the ceaseless grace that comes with glorious preachments of Allah," said Farrakhan.

"But at first, I conjectured that she lacked the spiritual tenacity and versatility to profess the wisdom of the Honorable Elijah Mohammad. She always had the visage of a standoffish, voracious woman of business.

"However, I then received a missive from Sister Martha, still being held captive by the government. She professed to the extent that Islam has altered her existence on all earthly and spiritual planes. The admirable woman also sent some delectable Country Cran-apple Preserves," he added, brightening.

"Then the next week, she sent a tea cozy that glorified Allah and was a magnificent addition to my collection of cookery accessories. In my analytical estimation, Sister Martha has fervent ardor crucial to thriving in the Great Nation of Islam." "Now," he added, "I'm praying that perhaps Allah will see fit for Oprah to be indicted for insider trading as well."
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