Southern Magazine Editor Ponders Bin Laden's Flat Tax Proposal

Raleigh, NC, September 18, 2007 --( Editor and publisher Bernie Reeves offers an opinion of the ins and outs of Osama Bin Laden’s recent pitch to Americans to join international Islam to avoid high taxation at (

Reeves, who writes the My Usual Charming Self column in the monthly Raleigh Metro Magazine, noticed Bin Laden’s offer in the first of the terrorist leader’s two recent videotaped messages directed at the US market.

Reeves responded in Between Issues, his online-only column published on the magazine’s web site, In this tongue-in-cheek discourse, Reeves explains that the Islamic “zakat”, the 2.5 percent tithe required in the Koran for Muslims, “is considerably less than the high taxes Americans are coughing up,” and “has the earmarks of the ‘flat tax’ bandied about by conservatives over the past 20 years.”

Reeves considers the consequences the shift to the zakat will require and the need to examine the establishment of religion clauses in US state constitutions. “I suppose the only answer is for each state to hold a referendum on whether to be Sunni, Sh’ite, Druse or a more narrowly defined sect, and establish a central mosque in capital cities where our new ayatollahs can meet and pray over how to spend the zakat,” he writes.

Other “passing nuisances” Reeves foresees to accept Bin Laden’s proposal involve curtailment of freedom of speech, denigrating the status and attire of women, changes in the legal code to allow for Koranic dictates – such as amputation of hands and fingers for thievery, the prohibition of alcohol and emptying museums of all images of the human form.

“All in all, a small price to pay for lower taxes,” he concludes.

Reeves’ entire satirical column, entitled “Bin Laden’s Flat Tax Appealing,” is available at

Metro Magazine
Kim Weiss
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