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Mr Awad and the Terrorist

The train was packed with passengers who were commuting to work that Monday morning as Mr Awad found a nice comfortable seat for himself amidst the sea of people who were rushing like hungry wolves to get seats for themselves.

 

Mr Awad sat and propped open his bag and took out “An Autobiography of a Yogi” and started reading.

 

After a few pages, he looked up and saw a young man who stood infront, glaring at him. Mr Awad smiled at the young man, who wore a black skull hat and a black jacket. The young man however did not smile back at Mr Awad. Rather he hissed, “You’re a Muslim, judging by your white beard and your white prayer hat and yet you read a book written by an infidel.”

 

Mr Awad laughed and replied, “Who are we to judge infidels when merely by judging itself, we place ourselves as one? There’s beauty of God in every religion.”

 

At this the young man replied, “Islam is the true religion and everything else is false.”

 

“To you it may be, young man. But note this, Islam is truly true when one sees the beauty of Creation in everything.” Mr Awad smiled and continued reading.

 

Moments later the passenger next to Mr Awad got up from his seat as his station had arrived and the young man took over the passenger’s seat and sat next to Mr Awad. As he sat, he whispered into Mr Awad’s ears, “You better get off this train too, old man, if you wish to live.”

 

“And why do you say that?”

 

“Don’t ask questions, just leave the train now!” the young man hissed again.

 

“I see.” Mr Awad nodded as the young man carefully revealed a bunch of wires running up under his jacket. At this Mr Awad replied “I can’t leave this train. I have to meet my wife the other side.”

 

“Fool!” the young man whispered again. “You seem like a good man, I don’t want to hurt you like this.”

 

Mr Awad then said, “But my friend, everyone’s good.”

 

“I don’t wish to sacrifice my Muslim brothers.”

 

“My friend, if you contemplate and meditate on the word “Muslim”, everyone’s a Muslim. What would you gain by killing innocent people?”

 

“Idiot! I’m doing this for us, for our people, for our freedom. For Allah!”

 

Mr Awad laughed, placed the book into his bag, crossed his hands and said, “Well, do it.”

 

The young man stared at Mr Awad, amazed. And then, without pausing he detonated the device under his shirt.

 

***

Salim could see a bright white light engulfing him and soon he became that bright white light. This must be the promised paradise he said to himself and then as he felt blissful and started to feel at peace with himself, he heard himSelf say, “Salim, you fool!”

And then guilt engulfed Salim as he was forever thrown into darkness.

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