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Ladies and gentlemen, I witnessed three Muslim men having an argument. One of them was attempting to persuade the other two to take a leaflet. I was close enough to observe what appeared to be Arabic writing on the leaflet, but obviously I could not read the content. In addition to that I could not make out what the men were saying in Arabic. I could feel the tension between them, and I could tell that they were threatening one another. Once the debate ended, I decided to come in closer and engage the two guys that stayed on the bus, the man with the pamphlets left. Here is what the gentlemen said to me:
“We should not talk about this, but you should be aware. That man was saying that we are blind Muslims. He was attempting to give us information that was promoting ISIS! He wanted to know where our mosque was located so that he could come and share this information. We refused and told him to get away from us, that we do not want to be associated with him or what he is doing. He continued to say were blind, and we told him that we would call the police right away if he did not get away. This is the reason why he got off the bus. We are Muslims, and we do not want to be seen with a person like him. The paper was not calling for violence or beheading, it was a very slick and subtle way of justifying why ISIS is doing what they are doing. It ispropaganda, similar to what you do here in America, and we want nothing to do with it. Your people will suspect us, our Mosque, and punish us for even talking withsomeone like him. We do not share the same views, and we want nothing to do with them. There is even a possibility that this man was an American trying to trick or test us, his accent was not natural. We do not know, but we want no part of it. Take care of yourself.”
That’s when the two guys got up, and left the bus. Seeing this happen, here in NYC, is mind-boggling. It shows me, and should show all of you out there, that there are extremists here in our midst. This is insane to see, however, on the flip side, this should show you guys that not all Muslims are bad people. There are good Muslims who will resist and fight the extremists.
Growing Up Bronx