Do terrorists eat biscuits?
As I’m sitting on the plane, I spot the young man a row ahead of me. He looks sort of, what you call it, middle-eastern? Great. I can’t even distinguish ethnicity.
He caught my attention because he is rocking back and forth, seemingly chanting something to himself. I see the little book he’s holding, a little book in Arabic script.
Oh crap, a mild panic creeps up. I shouldn’t be panicking, that’s ridiculous. Why should I be worried about a darker looking man reading, what I assume is the Quran, and praying on a plane.
I thought I was liberal, open-minded, and too educated to fall for the media brainwashing. ‘We are all the same’. ‘There’s more that connects us than divides us’.
Hmm, the security checks are pretty tight these days at airports. Was the shoe bomber thing the most recent incident? I’m sure you can’t smuggle anything onto planes anymore.
Why am I even thinking this? This wouldn’t occur to me if he were white and reading the bible. Have I really fallen for the Islamic terrorist hysteria?
At least I had a great weekend with friends in case this is how it ends. I could always make a quick call to the family when I hear him shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’.
Well, let’s be reasonable here. If he were a terrorist about to blow up the plane, he’d hardly be drawing attention to himself by reading the Quran and praying in public.
Shit, he’s pulling out a big rucksack. What’s he taking out? It’s a small plastic bag, with biscuits. He’s eating some of the biscuits. Do terrorists eat biscuits?
The poor guy, he must be aware that people ogle him with suspicion, see him as a threat while he hasn’t done anything. He’s just eating biscuits on a plane.
He stores the rucksack underneath the seat in front of him and puts on a pair of headphones. He chills out and falls asleep.
I sit there feeling embarrassed at my thoughts, my prejudice, my misguided fear. ‘We are all the same’. ‘There’s more that connects us than divides us’. Do I really believe that? I thought I did.