Spiced Coffee and Cake With Mr Zaoui
Letter To The Editor - From R.T.Fat, Waikato.
Recently, I was fortunate to spend a little time with Ahmed Zaoui. We spent a pleasant time, taking Mr Zaoui's Algerian spiced coffee and discussing the upcoming election ,and human rights, a subject close to Mr Zaoui's heart, as one might imagine.
As you might imagine, I was very much on my guard, having been led to believe by our, surely ironically named, Intelligence Services, and the great majority of those noble representatives of ours, that this kindly and avuncular individual was a threat to our good country's security. There were a few dodgy looking types around, I must confess; the deceptively gentle Catholic Father and Mr Zaoui's assistant, Sarah, seemed just too nice to be true. My suspicions were well and truly aroused; avowed supporters of a dangerous threat to our national security could surely not be so warm and welcoming, but, yes, there was a certain something in the determined manner in which they kept plying me with cake and coffee.
One minor matter, however, puzzled me. Where were the Intelligence Security people? They must be surely be keeping a close eye on the dangerous Mr Zaoui. Without giving away my suspicions, I stayed constantly alert, but was unable to detect any likely suspects. Yep, I had to hand it to them; they were good, these guys. And then, it finally dawned on me. Father Chris, who so consummately played the role of kindly scholarly priest, was, in fact, a double-agent. Brilliant. Thank God, I thought, our country's fate is in the steady hand of these masters of deception.
One further minor point still troubled me, however. I kept wondering; if Mr Zaoui is not a genuine refugee claiming sanctuary from a vicious and murderous regime, just what the heck is he playing at? Giving up years of his life, two of them in one of our lovely prisons, much of that time in solitary confinement, the preserve of our worst criminals, denying himself his family and, especially, watching his youngest son Yusef growing up. Yes, I detected a terrible pain in Mr Zoaui's eyes at the mention of his youngest boy.
Would not Mr Zaoui's usefulness as anything other than, the quiet scholarly man of peace, be in doubt?
These doubts are obviously not shared by the powers that be; in fairness to them, they're rather preoccupied slogging each other off and bribing us with petty and superficial election promises. Meanwhile Mr Zaoui continues to live life in limbo. As I left the priory where Mr Zaoui stays, I wondered whether I had met a man who is not actually a security threat, but a victim , firstly of his own country's terrible history, and then, more seriously from our point of view, the cold and inhuman treatment of a country long-renowned for its enlightened stance on human rights issues.