Reader haunted by encounter with man who attended San Diego mosque
I received this striking comment today from a reader who commented on my 2009 post on the San Diego connections to the Fort Hood shooting. I am reposting it here so hopefully more people will read it. He’s not sure whether the mosque he is referring to is the Rabat mosque in San Diego, where Anwar Aulaqi preached in the 1990s:
I am haunted by an encounter I had in 1996 with a man who attended that San Diego mosque. I was working at a military inpatient psychiatric hospital and the man was a patient of ours. He was with us long term because he was awaiting discharge from the military. There was not much notable about the patient until he started getting passes that allowed him to leave the hospital on weekends and certain evenings during the week. He did not have an Arabic name nor was he Arab, but at some point he began attending the mosque. Almost immediately there was a drastic change in he personality. He was constantly angry and confrontational. Our patients were not allowed in their rooms during the day (for their own safety.) We kept finding him in his room praying and kept having to re-direct him out onto the day area to do his prayers. (I couldn’t care less that he was praying, but we had to enforce the rules on everyone irregardless. This was a locked down, very acute care inpatient psychiatric unit that received patients via MEDI-VAC from all over the world) One day I had to go coax him out of the room again cause he had sneaked in there to pray. He instantly became confrontational, but it then took an unexpected turn. He began confronting me about being a Christian. (I didn’t tell him anything about my religious beliefs. He just assumed I was Christian.) Then he began yelling at me that one day I’ll have to stand in front of Allah for judgment and that he will be standing there with me laughing at me. He said something about Jesus being a fool and carried on about how he hates Christian’s & Jew’s and they will all burn in hell. I finally cut him off while laughing at him and I told him to get out of his room now I’ll he was going to have to spend some time in our isolation room. He stopped yelling and walked out into the day room to continue his prayers. I acted as though I had laughed it off, but truthfully it shook me up inside. I was not intimidated by him physically. I towered over this little man. I’m 6’4″ and weighed 250 pounds at the time. I had never seen anyone truly look at me with such hatred that there was murder in his eyes. I know if he had a weapon in his hand at the time, he would have used it. Knowing now what kind of people were coming and going from that mosque, my haunted, shook up feeling I experienced was justified.