[Media prompt] Get to know your Muslim neighbour event Sunday.
Elena yawned, rolling over to look out the window. Dawn was breaking, the rising sun turning the tops of scattered dusky clouds luminous white. She stretched and sat up, pausing for a moment before placing her feet gently on the wooden floor. It was Sunday, Margarita’s day off, and she would need to prepare breakfast.
The children were watching television when she came downstairs. She told them to turn down the sound. “You’re father’s still asleep,” she said, untying a packet of sliced bread. Elena felt a twinge of anger they were watching South Park, but she bit her tongue. “Toast okay for you kids this morning?”
After breakfast, Elena went back upstairs. Despite it still being early, she longed to crawl back under the covers. After she showered and dressed, she shook her husband awake. “You need to get up, we have the Muslim meet and greet next door.”
Before they left the house, her eldest said, “I’m not going over there, Muslims are creepy.” Elena looked at Tobias, her eyebrows arching. “We don’t talk like that in this house,” she said, breathing deeply to remain calm. “Muslims are as American as we are.” The boy looked at her: “Then why do they always talk about Sharia law and not American law?”
She had briefly thought of putting on the pink pussy hat she wore in the Washington march, but decided against it, wearing a scarf to cover her hair instead. “You should buy a hijab,” said her husband; “You'd look great.” Both the children groaned. “There’s no way I’m wearing a jab,” said the youngest. There were words between them, but by the time the four of them arrived at the Ibrahims, Elena had regained her composure.
Mr. Ibrahim opened the door, welcoming them to his house. “As-salāmu ʿalaykum,” said Elena. “Ooh, it smells delicious, doesn’t it?” Mrs. Ibrahim took Elena and her daughter into the kitchen with the other women. “Isn’t this fabulous?” she said.
All Elena's immediate neighbours attended, except for the Bornemans, who had erected Trump signs at the end of his second term, and did not possess the kind of cultural sophistication required to appreciate Arabic culture. Elena ensured she mixed with Mr. and Mrs. Ibrahim’s friends, noting that, compared to her husband, African men seemed so manly.
When everyone had finished lunch, and the guests were sipping mint tea, a Somalian man with a jagged scar across his face pulled an AK47 from behind the sofa and, using a single bullet for each victim, shot nine unbelievers.