Iraqi President Bush May Be Stoned For Blasphemy

Baghdad, Iraq, March 12, 2012 -- Iraqi President George W. Bush is currently in perhaps the most pressing peril of his long political career following a conviction by the highest religious court of Iraq for blasphemy, a crime punishable by death under Iraq's strict Sharia law. Under the ruling, President Bush is scheduled to be executed via public stoning before the next full moon, expected March 30. A spokesman for Bush stated he plans to appeal the ruling.

The incident occurred while President Bush was jesting with reporters prior to a press conference at the Presidential Palace in Baghdad announcing the opening of the latest Halliburton refinery in Al Daura. In a faux pas that harkened back to Ronald Reagan's infamous "We begin bombing in five minutes" radio blunder of 1984, Bush apparently related a joke involving an imam, a priest, and a rabbi, unaware that the microphone into which he was speaking had been turned on.

The joke, which was broadcast live by satellite, radio and on all three Iraqi national television networks, led to widespread and immediate outrage throughout the country's majority Muslim community, with spontaneous street riots and calls for retribution erupting in all major cities within minutes of the error.

Bush, who was sworn in as Supreme President of Iraq mere months ago following an election in which he won an impressive 100.2% of the popular vote using the latest line of reliable, efficient, high-tech Diebold digital voting booths, had converted to Islam in 2010 prior to announcing his candidacy. He was therefore expected by the Iraqi populace to be familiar with and respect the sanctity of Islamic beliefs. His live microphone banter was thus seen by many as an intentional and criminally grotesque display of insensitivity. This, coupled with the president's surprisingly low 7.3% approval rating nationwide, has led political observers to voice grave concern for his chances.

Under Iraq's Sharia law, any individual found to have defiled Islam or the Koran will be immediately tried by a three-member panel of clerics. The panel's rulings are always final, with no possibility of appeal.

In Bush's case, a panel composed of Iraq's highest religious clerics met within hours following the incident and issued its ruling, that President Bush had disgraced himself and committed blasphemy, mere minutes later. The standard punishment, death by stoning, was deemed by the panel to be highly justified.

Interviewed at his holding cell in Abu Ghraib prison on the outskirts of Baghdad, President Bush appeared remarkably calm given the gravity of his position.

"What's the big deal?" he said. "I've been stoned a hell of a lot of times, both in public and right at home. At parties. I can't believe that's the punishment here. If I did, I would have dissected the Koran tons more," he chuckled. This reporter chose not to be the one to enlighten the president as to the rather vital distinction between "stoned" and "stoned".

A lawyer representing Bush said the incarcerated president, given the impossibility of local recourse and his unusual status as a multi-national head of state, plans to appeal his sentence to the International Criminal Court in the Hague. A spokesman for the ICC, however, was not particularly sanguine as to the President's chances for judicial aid from that organ.

"Are you kidding?" the spokesman said. "The United States isn't even a member. They tried to sabotage us every step of the way. Sorry, buddy. Remember, 'You're either with us or against us'? You're on your own, and good luck to you."

By Ion Zwitter, Avant News Editor

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