The day started well.
Woke up, read a bit, took a shower, did some laundry – a typical Sunday.
In the afternoon, I decided to attend an open house for a local group’s new offices. A group that promotes mutual understanding. I arrived and entered what seemed to be a large classroom or meeting room, with chairs in neat rows, bookcases lining the walls, and a couple of small couches near the back. The room was full of people who were talking, some eating the samosas from the food table. Almost immediately I was approached by a man who introduced himself as the Director and welcomed me. He told me about the samosas, so I made my way through the crowd to the food table. I grabbed a samosa and a bottle of water and started chatting with a few people. One woman turned out to be someone I had known and volunteered with many years ago, so we were able to catch up and talk about mutual friends. Another woman told me her theory about how language was regressing through the use of emojis – she thought it was more like hieroglyphics than actual words. I thought that it might be an interesting idea for a blog post, and was mulling it over as a possible topic as I drove home.
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Until I got to the stoplight at the end of the exit ramp. The light turned red just as I got there. I noticed that the cars on the road immediately in front of me weren’t moving. They had a green light – did someone get rear-ended? There were two minivans, but they weren’t touching.
Suddenly the man in the front van gets out, yelling, and walks back towards the other van. The guy from van #2 gets out and starts yelling back. I honestly can’t say who threw the first punch, but they were brawling in the middle of the street!
The light was still red. I pulled out my phone and dialed 911.
The glasses from guy #1 go flying through the air and land on the road.
The phone is ringing.
Next thing I know the side door of the van #2 slides open and a woman in full black hijab and abaya gets out. She seems to want to intervene.
The light is still red, the phone is still ringing.
Finally the woman in the front passenger seat of van #1 gets out and goes back to get her husband and has to force him into the driver’s seat.
At that point the light finally turns green and I have several cars behind me, so I make my left turn and continue to the store to buy bread.
911 still had not answered when I had driven the half mile to the store, so I hung up.
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I have no idea why those two men were fighting, or even if the Muslim woman’s religion had any part in it. But it was very upsetting. Particularly since I had just come from such a warm and friendly event with Muslims and non-Muslims, promoting peace and understanding between faiths.
I hope and pray this was an isolated incident and not a harbinger of things to come.
I gotta have Faith.
We all do.