“There’s nothing wrong being Muslim,” Ernie said. “There’s bad apples in whatever way you want to group people – doesn’t matter if it’s religious, political or social. The big mistake is generalizing.”
This story came from the Faerie Tale anthology edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Russell Davis, which is another book I’ve been reading on and off from. “Sweet Forget-Me-Not” is a sweet love story. While cutting class, Ahmad discovered that he could see gemmins, which are something like the spirits or memories of places. Ernie, the only other person who could see them, warned Ahmad not to get involved with the gemmins as they are sure to break his heart. Ignoring Ernie’s advice, Ahmad began a relationship with Neenie, one of the gemmins.
One of my favourite things about Charles de Lint is that he tends to prefer outcasts as his main characters. The reason Ahmad avoids school was because the other kids call him a “terrorist” because of his name and appearance. I never had that problem when I was living in Norfolk (but then again, most of my close friends there were Japanese or Kenyan, and the locals were more interested in finding out if we lived on trees in Malaysia), but my brother did when he was in New Zealand. I appreciated that this story gave out the message that not all Muslims are terrorists, and more importantly, that people shouldn’t judge others too easily.