Profile cover photo
Profile photo
Zahid Bukhari
Zahid's posts

I had a laptop repair tech ask me if I made bombs because of my beard.  It all started like this.  He was close by and my laptop wasn't due to be repaired for another day or two.  He said he could come by and I had a massive headache earlier which had just subsided so I told him come over.

He came to my house - I asked him if he would remove his shoes or else I would find another method to accommodate him.  He said he was perfectly okay with removing his shoes.  I then offered him a drink after setting up a seating area for him - he said he was okay and often eats on the road.

Anyway - I situate myself a decent distance away so to not interfere with his work.  He then asks me what I do.  I replied Systems Engineering.  He then asked if I made bombs.  I answered no and that was it.  However offensive as that seems or is and as unrealistic as it is to get a truthful response from someone who actually does want to harm others I calmly and with a chuckle answered, "Huh? No."  I wanted to just get my laptop fixed but my curiosity and desire to understand things got the best of me.

I decided I was going to engage him in conversation and try to see what he's thinking.  So then I asked him, "Did you ask me if I make bombs because I'm Muslim?  How do you know I'm Muslim?" He responded by gesturing a beard caress (he didn't have a beard - or well not an awesome one like I) and said, "Because you have this".

Anyway - I do want to elaborate over the details but the more I spoke to him the more it showed he was driven by the media.  I proceeded to explain to him the numbers and percentages of attacks, presented him sources and statistics which are unbiased (i.e. no news sources - just data sources).

We got into discussions in regards to pedophiles and mental illness, we spoke about France and hijabs versus niqabs or burqas.  We went over the Chicago law in regards to ski masks and how it's not enforced because even cops know, "IT IS COLD HERE".  We went over how Europeans also feel threatened and why. He is European as well BTW.

We went over a wide variety of topics and although some of his thoughts have no backing (scientific, statistical, etc) he was set in them.  This showed me the power of the media and it was scary.  However I still stayed calm and spoke to him about what I did know.  At the end - he fixed my laptop, I offered him my precision screwdriver handle (it had a better handle than one he was using) he refused and said he's good because his screwdriver came in a kit.

I couldn't persuade him one way or another but only have a discussion. When he left - he said, "I hope you aren't mad because we disagree" and I replied, "No, it's better to talk about it than for you to just believe whatever".  He responded with, "It would be better if people just didn't talk and took care of the problem".  Which made me think, "Wow - perhaps he added a word he didn't mean to".  Anyway, he did mention, "I did learn some stuff today so that's good".

I pondered filing a complaint but then thought to myself, "What if the worst possible scenario plays out and he gets fired?"  So I decided against it.  The economy isn't in shambles but it's not perfect.  I don't know if he has any dependents or other responsibilities.  Furthermore it may affect his and or any dependents' ability to get health care and or education which I feel is good even if he doesn't see things my way.

Warning: mini soapbox!  I've always been massive about health and education.  However despite that we aren't there yet.  If anything - that's what the I truly believe the Govt should focus on, health and education of course with defense and infrastructure for all of it's citizens and all regions in the US.  I can elaborate why I feel this would work out in the long and short term in another post if challenged or desired.

At the end - I decided we had a conversation, we don't agree but he learned something.  Hopefully it'll pique his curiosity and or desire to learn more.

Now - bear with me - because it may seem silly but it's very true.  Something I also realized with my conversations with others is that the fear that Americans have that Trump is playing on is very real to them.  There is a phrase most people know:

Fear is the path to the Dark Side.
Fear leads to anger.
Anger leads to hate.
Hate leads to suffering.
  -- Yoda

I can present facts, statistics, and all sorts of data, but thanks to my wife, I realize people are emotional beings.  If you don't acknowledge their emotions, however unfounded you may feel they are, you aren't going to have much effect.  To try and open yourself up to understanding someone else is difficult, both emotionally and well in terms of capability since I kind of suck at it.  It is tough but needed.

There are many general phrases that critics are your best friends or to love your enemies (Go MLK!) or critics.  Part of these are in religion and it's also in the Bible, which Muslims are told to have faith and believe in (i.e. the holy books).  So I feel it's a good step and above all else, you don't have to love them but there's no reason to not be civil and or polite.

I hope I can have a positive effect on people around me and inculcate tolerance.  I don't know if some will say I did the wrong thing by being tolerant or not but it was my decision after all and I think it went well.

Enjoy yourselves and please feel free to share!  BTW - women are awesome.

Post has attachment
Jurassic Park Jeep!

Post has attachment
Random wife appreciation day every whenever-the-hell-you-want! :-). To show her you care regardless of the date!

Post has attachment
On the way to see Jurassic World... this is why I feared moving to the suburbs but it's still awesome!

Post has attachment

Post has attachment
Awesome day at McCorkle. Had an open BBQ for the community. We served and gave. Had some children play basketball too! Reminder we can use volunteers every Saturday to get the school fully functional for phase one!

Finally got a reply from +American Airlines - they ignored what I wrote & felt they didn't profile.  Need help writing an open letter.

Complaint submitted to +American Airlines - hoping to get a good response!

Me, my wife and two parents were at baggage check-in.  We were asked normal questions and then asked if any friends and family gave us any gifts or packages because they may be explosives or bombs.  I replied "No" finding it a rather specific yet a ridiculous general question.  After this we were again asked, "Are you sure because sometimes people are given items which are actually bombs?"  This was absurd but again I thought it was something everyone was asked.  So I again responded "No".

My wife was fuming as she immediately saw this was unfair.  Me and my parents are American and brown.  My wife is white and observes hijab so she was really upset.  I felt that perhaps she was blowing it out of proportion.  So I asked other travelers, primarily not brown or Muslim seeming, right then and there, if they received the same line of questioning.  To my dismay, they didn't.  At this point I realized me and my family had just been unjustly profiled and religiously discriminated against.

If that question needs to be asked, it needs to be asked of everyone however this was clearly not the case and furthermore it was repeatedly asked.  Luggage is checked regardless of and airport security will perform it's due diligence as they should.  I work with personnel as required but this was unacceptable.

I hope the individual JOHN DOE and others are made aware and disciplined that that is unacceptable.

Awaiting your response,

Thank you!

Linux 4.0 is out!  I'm kind of wondering how well Fedora handles a kernel rip and replace ... I know it won't handle it as well as Slackware ;-)

Strongly suggest people switch to Credit Unions.  Yes you have to be a member - but you will be surprised what those are and how easily you can qualify.  Some require you to live or work in a certain area others want you to give a very reasonably small amount to a charity of their choice.  Which you'll easily end up making up by not having ATM fees.

Which brings me to having access to 80000 surcharge free ATM's in the US alone - not to mention Internationally as well - also surcharge free.  You kind of have to go out of your way to not be close to one.

If I could go back to the younger Zahid oh the things I would tell him.
Wait while more posts are being loaded