“Am I an unbeliever then?” I ask.
“What do you mean, brother?”
“I am happy to live in Denmark. I don’t think I want to live in the Caliphate.”
“Hopefully, one day you will be led on the right path. Then you’ll see how beautiful an Islamic state is.”
“But what if I don’t want to be led on the right path? What then?”
Amir looks at me questioningly.“What do you mean?” he asks.
“I mean there’s also the possibility that we two are just different and want to live in different ways. That the one does not have to convert the other.”
“Just take it easy, my friend. Inshallah [If God wills], you will be guided onto the right path,” he says.
We walk on for a bit without saying anything.
I think through the paradox that the man I am speaking to on the one hand praises fanatic movements like Islamic State, and on the other seems like a loving and old forgotten friend.
Amir asks me about my family. He says he remembers my fifth birthday, my father’s mustache and that he has seen my articles and wondered how I was doing.
Our walk continues with exchanges of old memories: angry concierges, mythical football stars, dog excrement in the park and the old woman with stubble we both were so afraid of.As we approach our childhood home, the door is open into the yard.
Amir suggests we go in to avoid the noise from the cars on the road. I tell him the story about our game of hide and seek that ended up starting our friendship.
Then Amir says something that surprises me: “You are still my friend. Aren’t I your friend, too?”
“Yes, of course,” I answer, without meaning what I say.
We look at each other and a couple seconds of awkward silence follows.