If you’re a paintball-playing Muslim like Caliph Basha Ibn Abdur-Raheem, there may be only one safe place to practice your sport: George Bush Park in Houston, Texas.
You may recall that Abdur-Raheem was one of 11 suburban D.C. men accused by the feds of training for jihad by playing paintball. Some of the others still face various other charges, but federal judge Leonie M. Brinkema recently threw out the case against Abdur-Raheem, saying, “He is an ordinary run-of-the-mill paintball player.” The Washington Post quoted her as noting, “Paintball by itself is not an illegal enterprise. Many people do participate in paintball.”
Damn straight, judge. In fact, George Bush Park is so big that back in 2000, according to the Houston Chronicle, 14-year-old Jay Choi got lost there after playing paintball and spent 18 hours wandering around before he was rescued.
If you’re like Abdur-Raheem and you need a safe place to play, what’s better than a greensward named for Dubya’s daddy? Here are some directions. Also, if you’re so inclined, George Bush Park has a shooting range. But if you’re a paintball-playing Muslim, be careful.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on February 27, 2004