I am extremely grateful to the Chino Police Department for its kindness last weekend. I was standing at the gate of the mosque I attend in Chino, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, holding a bowl of samosas, waiting for sunset to break fast, when a Chino police car pulled up. My first instinct was fear.

We volunteer “gate duty” at the mosque because some of us don’t feel safe in light of ISIS-type lunatics doing horrific things in our name. People mistake our peaceful mosque, which has been running since 1987, as something dangerous, and ignorant people can do ignorant things. Name-calling, bottle-throwing, graffiti. Real bully type stuff.

So when the cops pulled up, I couldn’t help but feel a little uneasy. Did something happen? Did someone complain? He pulled in to the mosque and lowered the window: “Hey guys, what’s up?”

Not much, just breaking fast.

“Whatcha eating?”

Samosas and chaat.

“Are those chick peas in there.”

Yep. Want some?

“I wish I didn’t already eat.”

Well, come back again, we have plenty to go around.

“Sure thing.”

That was it. It may sound like the most uneventful story ever told, but for a Muslim-American living in San Bernardino County, it’s hard to explain how powerful a gesture it is to have your local police officer check up on you. He just came by to see how we’re doing. To show us that, in these strange times, he had our back.

Thank you, Chino Police. Samosas on us, anytime.

— Ata Khan, Chino Hills

iRabwah | News Watch |
Source/Credit: Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
By Ata Khan | July 8, 2016