Leave room in the margins
3 hours ago
"About three semesters back, I took the same philosophy class as Jahar. He sat three chairs away from me on one of further tables of the lecture room. We would frequently get paired up with two other people for group discussions on the course readings. He always contributed more to the discussions than the rest of us although he mentioned he never took a glance at the course textbook. When the other's talked he paid attention to them and always nodded his agreement. This one nerdy girl in our group always wrote down everything the students and the teacher said. She will always ask us if we could repeat something or slow down. Sometimes Jahar and I will give each other knowing looks and stifle a laughter but he was really patient with her and he didn't seem to mind when she asked him to repeat something several times. He was really considerate and laid back."
"Then there was one time when we had to discuss a chapter on ethics and religion and I noticed that Jahar hasn't said anything at all. He was just drawing on the desk. The nerdy girl though passionately voiced her opinion on the topic. She kind of went off track and start talking about how she disapproves of many different religious values and everything and I just stopped listening to her after a while. Then out of the blue Jahar starts adding things to the discussion. At first little stuff then he starts revealing things in a low voice that Muslims do within the privacy of their community. Stuff that they are never supposed to reveal to non-Muslims. He told us that Muslims are actually required to eat bacon with every meal because pork contains spiritual properties that bring them closer to God, and that every Muslim secretly binge drinks on wine during fasting, and that mosque leaders give them private lessons on how to become world leaders and how to begin a crusade against non-believers. I was completely intrigued. He said everything so convincingly and was so sure of himself. The nerdy girl was eating it all up too. She was writing it all down. When the girl finished writing the last of his words, she looked up at him probably expecting him to say more but all he did was look her and said "now, if you believed everything you just wrote, do us a favor and go bury yourself" and just smiled at her. The other person and I just looked at each other in complete shock and start laughing so loud the professor gave us an annoyed look.
"You might think that it is mean that Jahar embarrassed the girl like that but she was so arrogant and actually believed everything he said (okay I admit I did too) that she kind of deserved it. Well that's what I thought. However when we were reaching the end of class and preparing to leave, Jahar was kind enough to approach her before he left to apologize for putting her on the spot. He even made her smile after that.
"Jahar and I were only classmates for that one semester and I never spoke him out of class. but I felt like those moments we had in class told me a lot about his character. More so than what the media could ever tell you about him. That is why I find it so hard to identify the boy from my philosophy class with the one on the news. The one on the news is a monster disguised as him"