In October 2008, immediately after Hurricane Ike, a wave of contractors flooded Galveston Island to help repair Ike-induced flood damage.
They came with sweet promises; we will make your house great again. We will fix it to be safe again.
The Ike-wounded Galvestonians believed them. Some of these contractors where honest and fulfilled their promises. Others, however, were only scam artists.
One of them, a Muslim man from Florida, came to me and gave me the buttered talk about how keenly he will help us repair the damage at the Galveston Islamic Center and make the mosque beautiful again.
I was skeptical. However, because I trust people until they prove otherwise, I let him paint the inner side of the dome. He put a scaffold under the dome in the center of the prayer area. He put one man to work only at night.
I didn’t understand why he was doing so. Apparently, he had a plan in his mind that goes beyond making the mosque great again.
Subsequently, he secured several business contracts from Muslim Galvestonians whose homes had been damaged. He told them, and they had seen, that he worked in the mosque.
He made them feel that he is going to make their homes great again. He provided them with highly speculative plans for the renovations with out-of-mind interior decorations. He promised them that he would turn their ordinary homes into palaces and mansions.
Unfortunately, some of the desperate homeowners believed him. As soon as they received the insurance money they passed it to him. He collected tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars from Muslim Galvestonians.
One day in the middle of December that year and after collecting a large sum of money, he and his crews, mostly his children and immediate family, completely vanished from the island. Ditching all the home repairs that he started and got paid for it.
That guy managed to deceive our people without providing any proof of his qualifications, integrity and financial standing. He never showed his tax returns or his dealings with other businesses. He was a sweet talker, but always bullying and cursing any person that interfered by any means with the progress of his scams.
Although this is an eight years old story, recently, I have repeatedly seen similarities depicted on my TV screen every minute in every day of every week.
I expect to see more of such images for several more weeks.
Scam artists; promising to make, by magic wand, America safe and great again.
Unfortunately, some desperate Americans believe him like the Galvestonians believed that con contractor.
My heartfelt concern is; if he collected enough votes he will do like that contractor, take our country and run. He will only brag about his winnings. Like con artists, he will do nothing to fulfill our dreams or his meaningless and uncorroborated promises.
May our Lord Almighty embed sense in our American minds and protect America from rip-off artists.
Dr. Ahmed E. Ahmed is an American citizen who loves America and lives in Clear Lake.