I quickly clicked on my digital recorder and waited for his response. I wanted his name, his history, his reasoning for waging his vendetta against Muslim Americans and Islam in general. Sure, the ancient faith had been hijacked recently by unsavory extremists, but dammit, you can’t attack a whole religion on the basis of what a few adherents do! It’s unAmerican! It’s bigotry in its purest form and it pissed me off.
The scuttlebutt on this guy was wide and deep. Mostly conjecture and, I was certain, created by some right-wing, down home, garage-based PR firm consisting of church ladies and uneducated white guys that could spew vile profanity and bible verses in the same breath. He was the champion of the church league and lonely widows. What I did find odd, very odd, was that his following also included a large number of Atheists and Agnostics. How were they falling for this Anti-Muhammed on a Harley?
I had heard stories that he had been either black ops, special forces, CIA, or an Army Ranger, as well as a missionary to Africa that had seen his entire family wiped out in Nigeria. Another tale that circulated was that he had been a secretly held P.O.W in Afghanistan for 7 years and was now trying to raise money and an army to inflict payback as a civilian. None of it held any validity whatsoever.
He was was watching a young lady of about twenty with a bad case of bed-head run from her boyfriend’s car toward the lady’s room yelling back at the young man to run in and grab her a Diet Coke. The boyfriend adjusted the radio a bit higher and the base thumped relentlessly out of the still open passenger door. She would have to get her own Diet Coke.
You could see the disdain on the leathery face of the man behind the shades. He turned my direction. “You want to know who I am?” He removed the black framed glasses and set them on the table. His eyes were surrounded by weathered wrinkles and one lower eyelid that twitched a little when he looked right at me. I swallowed hard and cleared my throat as I nodded. His eyes narrowed as he leaned in to answer.
They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul. Through his I could see a fire burning deep within his soul, not quite a rage, but an energy. His reason, the very source of what powered him, what electrified his being. I was looking at a reactor core burning at 1000 degrees and the only thing that protected me and the small, ever changing population of Amboy from radioactive annihilation was the restraint he was currently showing.
“I’m Charles Martel…” I was making a mental note of the name as he continued. “and Jan Sobieski. I am Hugues de Payens and Godfrey de Saint-Omer. I’m Stephen Decatur and William Bainbridge. I’m Geert Wilders and Theo van Gogh. Bridgitte Gabriel, Nonie Darwish, Wafa Sultan and Ayaan Hirsi Ali. I’m a Coptic Christian in Egypt and scores of murdered Hindus in India”
“I’m Hector Aleem and Asia Bibi awaiting the death penalty for merely being Christians in Pakistan. I’m 3000 people that went to work or got on a plane thinking it was another typical Tuesday morning in September. I’m an American mother that followed a link on the internet and unknowingly watched the crude, shocking video of her own son’s slow and deliberate beheading in a filthy deserted dwelling somewhere in the hell-hole of the Middle-east.”
“I’m 300 schoolchildren and parents murdered in Beslan. I’m a retired father and husband on a cruise with my wife on our own vessel, kidnapped and held for ransom in Somalia. I’m hundreds of hacked and burned Christians whose bodies littered the streets of Kaduna, Nigeria. I’m young schoolgirls beheaded in Indonesia.
I am 270 million victims of “The Religion of Peace” over the last 14 centuries.”
“I am every victim, every survivor, every person with a spine that has stood up to Islam and said “No, Hell no! I will not surrender, I will not give in, I will not bow and I damn sure will never submit!. I will gather with those that feel the same as me and I will educate those that do not know the truth. I will speak for those who can’t and I will shout beside those that can. I will vote and I will exercise my rights to the utmost and fight to keep those rights.”
“I will stand shoulder to shoulder with Christians, Atheists, Wiccans, Hindus, people of color and different languages. I will man the trenches with gay, straight, young and old against the evil that is Islam. I will stand up for this country and its ideals no matter how outdated you and your friends may find them. I will not let this country or its citizens fall to the enemy. Yes, I will call Islam what it is, The Enemy. I do not fear what any Imam or radical cleric says or does. I fear no fatwa and I’ll tell you right now there are no “PC” guidelines in my entire being.”
“I am an American…I am an Infidel…I am a Warrior.”
He finally took a breath, but I could see the energy still rising within him as he looked into my eyes and into my very soul. I didn’t move. I felt I didn’t dare.
“So now you tell me, blogger, who the hell are YOU?