Strange Man Says Strange “Terroristic” Things; What To Do Next?
A man no one seems to know drops into two different places in Denton, Texas waving the Koran, demanding everyone convert, then leaves. Then he does it at the local courthouse where, as you might expect, his tour stops as he is taken into custody by Denton police. He has been accused of "making terroristic threats" whatever that means. Video from KDAF explains it.
This situation is like Alice in Wonderland: curiouser and curiouser. Who is this guy and what actually do we do with him now? Not like he shot someone or blew anything up. It's hard to accuse someone of a major crime when all he did was yell and leave with zero follow-through. This is where a creative DA is needed.
28-year-old Peshwaz Azad Waise went around in a preaching fit according to police. Street corners in towns across the country are full of people doing the same thing, yelling "repent" through a bullhorn or at the top of their lungs if they're too thrifty to buy batteries. Is he more dangerous than those people? A lot of folks are put off by zeal of any kind, but this guy takes the extra step to disrupt ordinary life as we know it, challenging people and making ultimatums with consequences. BIG consequences. Here's the key difference: Waise actually said people needed to "convert or die." His words, not mine (I'm more of a live free or die kind of guy). Now we're playing "Koran Man Truth or Consequences" and this guy thinks he's the Kurds' answer to Bob Barker.
That'll do it. Here comes the paddy wagon. Oh sure, streetcorner ministers and tent revival preachers often say lost souls will go to hell, but they never assert they're the ones who are going to send people there. At least, they haven't had a history of it, thank goodness.
What's strange is the guy comes across as a peaceful tree-hugger. There's video of this guy on Facebook and YouTube acting more like a blissed out hippie gushing over alternative power. Not the heavenly or governmental kind:
There is no indication that he is or ever was a student at the University of North Texas or Texas Woman’s University. Police said Wednesday they don’t know why he came to Denton. We do know that he and his family came to the United States from the Kurdish region of Iraq and settled in Virginia...It’s not clear whether he is a naturalized U.S. citizen or whether he is a resident immigrant on a visa of some kind.
That's got to give you pause: nobody really knows if he is supposed to be here or not!
Waise’s Facebook page said he attended college at George Mason University. We don’t know whether he is employed, was visiting friends in Denton or if he was simply floating around the country.
The paper cites the local Imam who booted him from prayers for being disruptive. Knowing that, you're probably thinking what I'm thinking: this guy might be in the process of being radicalized. There are signs, especially the behavior at the mosque. Still I don't know what's going on inside someone's mind when they become radicalized. Is it like being struck by lightning? Is it a more gradual process like getting drunk? Is it hallucinogenic? Or Is it like someone who is broken up with their girl and craving attention so they start doing things to get it from whomever they can? I don't rightfully know.
We do know this: he was stopped before he could do anything and The Record-Chronicle says he's under psychiatric observation. Until all the other questions are answered, that's probably the right place for him to be. He could be cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, or at least nuts in a big way for that book he was waving around.