Letters to a friend: Convicted terrorist's former friends asked, "what would you say to him now?"

Bassam Tariq of the "30 Mosques" project tells Boing Boing, "I gave a Livescribe Smartpen to the friends of someone who was convicted as a terrorist, and asked them what they would say to him now if they could." Here is the resulting story, with images.


  1. Sidebar: this just reminds me of the time the media interviewed Marilyn Manson in the wake of the Columbine shootings & asked him what he’d say to the shooters & he replied “I wouldn’t say anything, I’d LISTEN to them, which is what no one else was doing.”  Which I thought was a pretty great reply. 

    1. I can’t speak for what he means in particular but I can imagine that growing up as a Muslim in the US, you might come up against a little bit of prejudice.

  2. “We all know that one crazy guy in the mosque, but we don’t think he’d ever do anything.”

    “We all know that one crazy guy in the mosque”? We do?

  3. I’m curious as to why the previous couple comments on this post were deleted. Was it deemed offensive in some way? It seemed benign enough to me. Could a moderator say something about this?

    1. I’m curious as to why the previous couple comments on this post were deleted.

      You mean the offensive comment that came from the same IP as yours, but under a different identity?

      1. That’s the one. Precisely what was offensive enough about it to warrant blocking from further comment? It’s rather surprising to me that the comment in question, which was as measured and reasonable as any other commentary on this issue, was deleted and the username blocked as if it were that of a racist screed by a neo-nazi.

        I am genuinely curious as to your reasoning. If comments like the one in question are considered so out of line as to be ban worthy, I am quite literally baffled as to what kind of comments discussing topics of Islam (or for that matter any religion) and terrorism cases would be permissible. Is any linkage between these subjects permissible at all? My interest in moderation policy here is entirely earnest, and in so far as I can see, not at all clearly delineated in the policy stated on this website.

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