He glanced at his outline and made the point that of course Islam has its zealots, and he condemns them.You can tell a lot about VIrji from these excerpts, but probably not what the WaPo reporter expects.
"But that's not what we're talking about," he said. "Because if you say, 'That's Islam,' then that's like me saying, 'Well, Christianity is David Koresh,' " he said, referring to the cult leader.
"So Islam is not what you see on TV, okay?" he said. "I know Fox News. It's not news. It's the WWF, okay? Don't use them as my spokesperson. When you say, 'These people are animals and we have to blow them up,' don't say, 'This is Islam.' It's not. And 99.9 percent of us will agree we need to condemn these people and it hurts us even more because they're saying that God said this? Muhammad said this? Never in a million years."
He began pacing a bit. People were listening.
"Do you guys know who the LRA is?" he said, referring to the Lord's Resistance Army, the cultish Ugandan rebel group blamed for the deaths of more than 100,000 people. "How many of you knew about that? I want you to raise your hands."
Two hands went up.
"How come you don't know about that?" Ayaz said.
He began talking about Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who had referred to Islam as a "vicious cancer."
"There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world! Now, according to General Flynn, we have to purge them? 'We have to purge the world of Islam!'" he said in a mocking voice.
He was far off his outline now.
"You can sense I'm angry about that," he said. "Wasn't Jesus angry when he went into the temple and knoc ked over the tables of the money changers? He was angry. Injustice should make us angry! Okay? I am angry about the election. Because there is injustice there, and I have felt that within my family. And with the burning of mosques? And something like 150 bomb threats to Jewish synagogues? We should think."
So he wants the people of Dawson to apologize directly to him for their vote for president. And, by the way, he seems to be lumping in the 44% who voted for Clinton with the 56% who voted for Trump. Trump won the state so everyone is at fault.
"I think some people are coming from Dawson to be supportive," she offered.
"I know a way they could be supportive," he said, thinking once again of the vote.
"Maybe they are sorry," Musarrat said.
"Would be nice if they said it," Ayaz said. "I don't think they regret it."