My Kind of Town
Don Chapman

Thursday, April 14, 2005


Where’s Fariq?

» Kaimuki

Honolulu, as in cities around the world, was home to more than one jihadist group. As elsewhere, they were only vaguely aware of the other's existence, focusing entirely on their own specific mission. So, as the Khomeini Sharia Unification Movement for Preaching and Combat assisted Fatima bin Laden in the plot to free Muhammed Resurreccion or kill a lot of Americans trying, a more informal cell was also busy.

Fariq, a student at UH, was assigned the task of infiltrating Imam Ibrahim al-Shakr's inner circle, and in the past week had insinuated himself into the group. He showed up at the young imam's Kaimuki apartment one day, saying he'd heard the imam speak and wanted to follow him and help spread his message of love and compassion. He was happy to sweep floors, wash dishes, run errands, anything at all to be near Imam Ibrahim.

Or as Quinn Ah Sun muttered, "That freakin' Fariq, you can't get rid of him." Quinn, an HPD solo bike officer, and his wife Lily had heard the imam speak once, and he decided the imam's Sufi teaching was "basically Buddhism in the name of Allah." And as he had with the second Lama Jey Tsong Khapa, Quinn again signed himself on to protect and defend a young holy man. It had come as a surprise to the imam that he should need "security."

"Trust me, Imam Ibrahim, I saw it with Lama Jey, whom I mentioned earlier -- you two guys really do need to meet some time. Anyway, there are people who resent anyone who promotes peace, love and compassion -- it poses such a threat to their existence."

"Ah, so I will have a posse then?" the imam had said, chuckling. "Like those athletes and rappers."

"Not quite, and I'm not talking armed guards either. I'm just saying that people around you need to be more aware."

Quinn glanced at his watch. He wanted to get home to Lily and the twins, but he also wanted to see the new pamphlet about the imam and his teaching, which Fariq was supposed to have picked up from MidWeek's printing plant in Kaneohe and delivered already. "Where's that freakin' Fariq?" He strode to the second-floor balcony overlooking the street. A taxi was parked at the curb, engine idling. A white van pulled into the small parking area. "Here's Fariq," he said. "And he's bringing company."

Another young man stepped from the passenger door, two more from the side door. The four of them retrieved cardboard boxes from the rear of the van. Each looked Arabic. Fariq had an odd bulge under his long, untucked shirt.

"I don't recognize any of the others," the imam commented.

"Tell you what, let's take a walk -- out the back exit."

That's when the shooting started. Shielding the imam, Quinn reached for the Glock on his ankle and hurried him out the door.

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Don Chapman is editor of MidWeek. His serialized novel runs daily in the Star-Bulletin. He can be e-mailed at dchapman@midweek.com

E-mail to Features Desk


© Honolulu Star-Bulletin -- http://archives.starbulletin.com