Imagine an army of Mohammads. . .
Easy if you try. . .

Taking things literally is one of my favorite (and most annoying) pastimes.

So, after briefly getting ahead of myself with the literal implications of the title, I read Yankee Muse's post -- "An Army of Mohammads" (via Glenn Reynolds), and I found myself in full agreement with his points:

The same technological advances [discussed in An Army of Davids] also allow individual terrorists and groups of terrorists to survive and engage in violent activities against large nations.
We are at the beginning of an ongoing generational conflict that will continue so long as even a handful of dedicated nutcases want to destroy the West and its institutions.
Much as it pains me to admit to occasional feelings of optimism, I'd like to point out that the same technological advances which make literally possible the creation of an army of enemy Mohammads also make possible the creation of an army of friendly Mohammads.

Cloning the prophet is an old idea, which I've discussed for years. I'd hate to be forced to claim credit for being the first to think about it, as I have no way of knowing what other thoughts might run through the billions of brains also thinking thoughts in the world.

But there's plenty of his genetic material lying around (at least, there's a hair and a tooth), and I see no reason why some covert op guys couldn't theoretically do a break-in at the Topkapi Palace, pilfer a few cells, and store them somewhere for safekeeping.* While the technology isn't yet there to clone a whole man from hair and beard samples (itself a debatable proposition), is the idea really that much more of a stretch than "Jurassic Park"? And wasn't Jurassic Park a multimillion dollar movie?

Please. It doesn't take too much imagination, does it? Why, the idea is so obvious it's probably already been done. I realize that there may be squeamishness in certain religious circles, but it's not as if I'm proposing creating life in order to destroy it, because my theory is that the Mohammad clones (twins, really), being raised in the free West, would be delighted to grow up in anticipation of their task of defending freedom against tyranny. It might not even be necessary to tell them about their genetic origins. That could await the Day of Reckoning, "Boys from Brazil" style.

Oh, I guess I forgot about that whole hereditary Caliph deal. What -- do I have to always look on the Sunni side of life?

What the hell, just spread the prophets around a little....

* They could always do a "switch" operation -- you know, a hair for a hair, a tooth for a tooth. And hell, even if they won't, um, go there, it might make a nice Turkish flick.

posted by Eric on 03.02.06 at 11:24 AM


I'd often wondered about the cloning thing - ever since Woody Allen's "Sleeper". But I think it's a mistaken notion. You might be able to clone a twin of Mohammed, or Hitler, or Einstein, or Napoleon, or of a hundred Catholic saints from relics, but all that would get you is a twin - similar in size, shape, strength, but otherwise an entirely new person.

Unless this new Mohammed twin were raised under the same conditions, and had the same life experiences as the original, it would be just another person.

The "Army of Davids" viewpoint is much more to the point.

Mike Z   ·  March 2, 2006 3:59 PM

Forget about it. To quote Connor McCloud, "There can be only one."

Clone 10 of these dudes and they'll be hacking eachother to pieces within nanoseconds.

Id pay to see that.

Mick   ·  March 2, 2006 9:45 PM

Mick, you mean you're not taking this wonderful scientific idea seriously?


Eric Scheie   ·  March 2, 2006 10:57 PM

Didn't the Klingons do this in an episode of Star Trek?

DogRiverDan   ·  March 4, 2006 3:31 AM

I hope so, because I don't want to get the blame for this meme!

Does anyone know?

Eric Scheie   ·  March 4, 2006 7:13 AM

Er.. I thought I was. :)

Mick   ·  March 5, 2006 4:17 PM

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