Quent Cordair has just published a screenplay titled Mujahid, which fans of his previous work are certain to enjoy.
Set in Chicago during the holiday season, the story involves a conflict between Husam, a young Muslim man who takes Islam seriously, and his younger brother Jasim. The conflict escalates after Husam is handed a heavy bag by a bearded man and gets on a bus heading downtown.
On the bus, Husam finds Jasim, who is looking out the window and savoring views of nice cars, luxury stores, well-dressed women, and buildings that rise to the sky—products of the ideas Jasim takes seriously. Jasim has increasingly suspected that Husam is out to destroy such values in the name of Islam; and now, on the bus, when he sees Husam check his watch, reach inside the bag, and turn something, Jasim suspects the time may have come. This conversation follows:
JASIM: (quietly) I don’t want to die today, Husam.
HUSAM: You’re not going to die. We’re getting off at the next stop.
Jasim glances from the backpack to [a girl he saw earlier] – who catches his eye and smiles again.
JASIM: I don’t want anyone else to die either.
HUSAM: “To those who believe and do deeds of righteousness hath Allah promised forgiveness and a great reward.”
JASIM: What’s in the backpack, Husam?
HUSAM: Nothing you need to worry about.
Jasim looks out the window.
JASIM: I don’t want to get off at the next stop.
Husam doesn’t reply. Jasim glances at the girl, her skates, the bus-route chart.
JASIM: I want to get off at the ice skating rink. It’s only two more stops, I think.
Husam has been quietly, slowly with his foot, pushing the black backpack under the seat ahead of Jasim.
JASIM: Father would have been brave enough to stay on the bus.
HUSAM: I have not yet earned martyrdom. Today is but one battle in the long war.
JASIM: Why must there be war, Husam? This place is so much better than where we’re from. Everything is better here. Everyone lives better here. People are happier here. I’m happier here.
HUSAM: We are not to live for happiness on earth, little brother, but to serve Allah, to sacrifice everything, our lives if asked, for Allah’s rewards hereafter.
JASIM: But I like the rewards here.
How is the conflict resolved? In an immensely satisfying way—as fans of Cordair’s work would expect.
Buy the screenplay at Amazon and see for yourself. If you enjoy it, consider reviewing it there as well. If enough people support the screenplay, we might someday enjoy a film version.
- Quent Cordair Offers a Philosophical Detection Story in “The Match”
- Review: Lunch Break, by Quent Cordair