You’re not supposed to have them.” He continued, “But the tattoo on my neck is from the guy I did a fight with in the club.”
“It has one word under the tattoo,” I said.
“That word is tattoo,” he replied.
The guy said I was wrong, but then he looked around the room and saw people who were already showing tattoos — a tattoo that said something like, “I’m a monster.”
“But that’s a good word,” I said without a shred of skepticism.
“Yes,” he said with conviction.
We went out to dinner that night. We had a nice steak and a nice meal. I told him about my brother, and about what he’d learned about my husband’s military service. He told him it was the “best thing that ever happened to the guy,” and that he was proud of him.
And a few years later, I got back in touch and asked what he thought.
“He’d be a great Marine,” he said.
On another occasion I spoke to him at the Marine Corps headquarters. There were about 20 Marines there. One of them wore a beard. It was the type of beard that is so much more prevalent in the West and among Europeans. When I asked him what he was doing, he responded:
They told me that they are taking my beard away. I have to go back to Saudi Arabia. I must tell my wife before my return. I must tell her everything about her. I must tell her all the things that happened to me in my life . . .
He told me they are taking away my beard.
I can’t believe that this is happening to an American.
He told me about being in Saudi Arabia and seeing these girls in this kingdom, and how they have the most beautiful faces. Men will pay to have these beautiful faces with no hair. They don’t understand the meaning of hair.
He said the Saudis wanted to be with him and I believed him.
What this boils down to in a nutshell is that these are people who love me, but they don’t understand me. And this has to do with the fact that I’m a Muslim.
“You’re a Christian; you’re Christian,” he said.
I had no choice. I had to explain that I was not a Christian. I was a Muslim. I was Muslim. I couldn’t go back home
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