The mystery of the kafir tattoo


*Spoiler Alert*

There is no better way to appreciate winter with all its chilliness than enjoying a whodunit, an espionage story or a murder mystery with a huge cup of coffee. And while I might not have had the gas, electricity or indeed the coffee to make said cup of coffee, what I definitely had was a decent collection of thrillers to choose from over the weekend. First there was ‘Referendum on the Nile’, a story about a rigged referendum as a part of a religious espionage, starring M Moresee – a rising star who’s made himself the face of Middle Eastern cinema. Then there was ‘Funnyball’, a biographical account of a bit of a joke of a sportsman and his mysterious omission from the national squad bound for the tour of national archrivals, starring S A Freedee, reprising his role from ‘The Dummy Returns’. However, arguably the pick of the flicks from the past week was ‘The Mystery of the Kafir Tattoo’; featuring one of my favourite sleuths of all time: Said Hamid aka Lal Topi.

Set in modern day Peshawar, the film is about a terrorist attack on an airport and the ensuing gun battle. Ten terrorists, two cops and three civilians are killed during the exchanges. The military, leading intelligence agency, government and media acknowledge the role of security agencies and civilians as the damage is minimised. The leading terrorist organisation of the area TTP (Terror’s Truthful Propagators) accept the blame for the attack, the nation condemns the terrorists, the ideological apologists start quoting peaceful citations and the dronophobes start locating imaginary chains linking the incident to foreign drone attacks. The screenplay seems pretty straightforward and there’s nothing extraordinary about the plot till the kafir tattoo springs out in the open.

The tattoo touted to be ‘demonic’ and around 10 to 15 years old is seen on the back of one of the terrorists that gives a whole new dimension to the story. For you see, the ideology propagated by TTP declares tattoos to be haram (forbidden) and hence anyone who has tattoos on their body is actually a kafir (infidel). And therefore, everything ranging from the origin of these terrorists, their identity and their targets is shrouded by mystery. Since five of the ten terrorists are already identified as Uzbeks – including the one who had the tattoo – the logical deduction would be that the person must have been a convert. The Central Asian States have a lot of Goth influence, which is extremely palpable in the Uzbek underworld, and one could logically construe that the man in question was one of the many Central Asians that had settled in FATA during the ‘70s and ‘80s. World renowned for making a mockery of logic and reason, the stage is set for Said Hamid.

Hamid’s role in TMOTKT is an uncanny throwback to his role in ‘Foreign Height 26/11’, in which Lal Topi solved the case of the identity of AK through an orange band that proved that the terrorist was actually a Hindu Zionist. That blockbuster is renowned for the detective’s vigour and determination that saw him prove investigation reports, media analysis, AK’s family, every man and his dog, and the blatant truth wrong by revealing how AK – a Pakistani Muslim – was in fact AS (Amar Singh) from Faridkot in Indian Punjab. Similarly, in TMOTKT Hamid – often called ‘The Unrestrained Collarbone’ by his fans – digs deep into the origin and the meaning of the kafir tattoo to unravel the seemingly unsolvable mystery.

In the final sequence of the film, Hamid gives us one of two possible solutions to the mystery:

a) The tattoo, which showcases a skull with horns and an incomplete hand, is actually from a “Dajali cult of Satanism”, which in turn proves a 1400-year old prophesy to be true. It also proves that Zionists – a term Hamid famously used 127 times in 60 seconds to shatter a Guinness record – planned and financed the attack.

b) The tattoo is actually an exact match of “Illuminati Freemasonic tattoo” which proves that devil worshippers were behind the attack. Lal Topi also highlights that the face cut and the jaw line of the skull bears an eerie resemblance to President Barrack O Bomber, and therefore he could also have been the principal antagonist in the attack.

Just when the audience starts to believe that the terrorist was a convert, Lal Topi slams the two-pronged irrefutable truth on our faces. A lot of ‘born again’ converts and even some noteworthy scholars have had tattoos, which they try and hide from the public, so it was natural for one to think along those lines. Hamid, however, had other ideas as he conjured an outrageous solution to give the flick a popular ending – the key to any hit movie.

Said Hamid, donning his ridiculously red hat, shines throughout the film. Rapid-fire dialogue delivery, amusing body gestures, signature Zionist phrases, towering screen presence: Said Hamid is at his very best in this flick. The thing with all Lal Topi films is that it allows us to connect with the lead character, since we know in our hearts that there’s a Said Hamid in all of us. This is precisely why The Mystery of the Kafir Tattoo is highly recommended.

There’s a decent array of films that I’d be looking forward to this weekend as well. I might go for either the new Bond film ‘Rupeefall ‘or the final installment of the Batman trilogy ‘The Dreaded Dollar Rises’. Both of these horror films have a common theme, and their promos are quite intriguing.

The writer is Editor, Business/City (Karachi), Pakistan Today. Email:[email protected], Twitter:@khuldune


  1. So it means the author is going to believe on topi drams of hamid saeed that how he is being again planted in our system to channelize the youth against Zionist and Hindu lobby.
    Through this example of confession of TTP it is proved that TTP job is just like ISPR to come forward and accept whatever is going wrong in state is due to their actions.In this modern era even they cant be back traced via wires which is very easy at this time, no matter what service they are using to spread their messages but we never countered them for last 78 and years.Just like we couldn't stop the old fashioned FM of sufi Mohammed until fires of destruction had engulf whole valley of swat.

  2. This writer has put the facts so beautifully in this article – he is growing rapidly with each day – well done buddy.

  3. Nice article, but I should point out:

    The sentence,

    "World renowned for making a mockery of logic and reason, the stage is set for Said Hamid.",

    … is grammatically incorrect. In the resent form, the modifier, "World renowned … reason", modifies "the stage" instead of "Said Hamid". See:

  4. Mr Kunwar. Have a heart. a foreigner settling in 70s 80s is still young as is evident from the hair and skin. how can 'one' logically construe that the man in question was one of the many Central Asians that had settled in FATA during the ‘70s and ‘80s. DUH.
    me no great fan of Zaid but please have a heart.

  5. So sad we sell ourselves for bunch of $$$ etc. Unfortunately there is 3 % breed of young so called analysts, bloggers and writers belong to fantasy land and don't waste anytime to jump on the band wagon of western media's point of view. But I understand you have to survive and live and the best thing to do is "FOLLOW THE PATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE"

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