This Is Not Islam

bombed buildings
When the soldiers come, it is the middle of the night.
Smashing through the door, they drag me from my bed,
two of them stay with my wife.
As she begins to scream I struggle. They hit me
with a rifle butt. To fight back they say,
will only increase the damage they do. My son wakes and runs to me
crying, saying “Abby,” “My father, what is happening?”
One soldier grabs my son’s shirt ripping the collar,
holding him back from me.
I hold my arms out to him, my son, I love you.
To save my wife’s life, I don’t fight them.
I am a good husband and father. Tonight I failed.

When the two soldiers come from my bedroom
one buckles his belt. A rifle is pushed into my eye.
“You will fight with us or you and your family will die.
They will die first. Get ready. We will be back for you.”
As they leave, with blood in my face I find my wife.
She cries as she dresses herself. She is in pain.
I tell her to pack a bag, we are leaving. I hear
explosions outside. There is fire and screaming.
I heard at my job that a man has a boat. For
money he will take us.

We run from house to house. Through the park
down dark streets to the harbor. We walk up the coast
It is a long night. We are stopped. “What do you want?”
a voice says. “We want to leave. I have money.”
“Give me the money.” The man steps from the shadow.
I give him what I have. “Not enough,” he says.
“Only your wife and child. You stay.”
“Please,” I plead. “I will work for you! Anything.”
“You have a cell phone?”
I hand it over. He looks it over, turns it on.
“Get in.” He motions to the boat. “Under the tarp.”

“Where will you take us?” “Quiet! It is dangerous.”
My son cries softly to himself.
“What is happening, father?” I sooth him.
“We must leave our life. The fighters have come.
This is not Islam. This is not our God.”
“Where will we go?” my wife asks. She will not speak
of what happened.
“I don’t know. People are going to Greece. I never thought
this would happen. We will try to go to America maybe.
I hear there are many refugees there.”
I sob uncontrollably now. Our lives are forever
changed. We a refugees. This is not Islam.

I put this together from stories and news items I have read online. I hope I didn’t plagiarize anyone.


  1. There are people who want the land of Syria, but not the people of Syria. Who might those people be? Magnificent piece or writing, Butch!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s