Spontaneous celebrations erupted around the world yesterday when news broke that a single bumper sticker slogan had caused all violence in the Middle East to come to an immediate halt. The result was the first period of nonviolence in the region in 17,000 years.
The permanent solution to the world’s most intractable conflict finally took hold when Rahif Muhammad Abdul-Aziz, a fruit-stand merchant in Allepo, Syria, decided to affix a white-on-blue sticker containing the command “COEXIST” to the rear of his 1998 Mazda Hatchback. The letters were comprised of various religious symbols set side by side, offering the reader a pictorial representation of the underlying message.
Syria’s Minister for Internal Security, Abdul “The Butcher” Shazaam, first saw the powerful message while waiting in traffic on his way to the office, where his schedule for that day called for the indiscriminate torture of a number of civilian hostages.
Upon casually glancing at the back of Mr. Abdul-Aziz’s car, he was immediately struck by the powerful symbolism confronting him. Shazaam told his driver to pull over, at which point he called President Bashar al-Assad directly. After listening to Shazaam’s tearful description, Assad immediately ordered all indiscriminate aerial bombers, secret police inquisitors, and rooftop snipers to stand down. He then sent a cable to the United States State Department containing the precise whereabouts of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal, with a request that it be “safely destroyed as swiftly as humanly possible.”