My favorite anecdote of all time


In 1531, a Palestinian peasant responded thus to an Ottoman caliph’s tax collector: “When your caliph defeats 7 firangi kings, then, and only then, come to us. Until then this order (tax farmaan) to us is like wind from a donkey’s ass.” This was noted in Ottoman tax records, and prompted a fatwa by the sheikh-ul-Islam of the time. In 1975, Monty Python recorded this conversation in their movie, Monty Python and the Holy Grail (which makes them the greatest, and the most learned, comedians in history).

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