Over the weekend, a well-armed Muslim man, decked out in military fatigues and tactical gear, stormed a Texas church and claimed that “Allah” ordered him to “slay the infidels,” and a note found the following day explained a lot about what had happened.
On Sunday, Rasheed Abdul Aziz entered the Corinth Missionary Baptist Church in Bullard after church services were completed and told a deacon he needed to see the pastor for prayer, reported the Tyler Morning Telegraph. However, Aziz wasn’t looking to pray by any means, and after the 40-year-old was face-to-face with Rev. John D. Johnson III, his intentions became abundantly clear.
“Every hair on my neck just stood up,” Johnson said of seeing Aziz for the first time. “It was almost like you could just like feel the presence of just negative energy.”
As soon as Aziz laid eyes on Johnson, he started in on an angry rant, saying that he’s a “man of Islam” who was instructed to “slay the infidels” and kill any Jew or Christian who weren’t abiding by the laws of Islam. As Aziz ranted, the church still had people inside, including small children, so Johnson knew he had to do something to prevent what he believed to be inevitable.
“He said people are going to die today, that’s what he said to me,” Johnson told KLTV. “I believe that his intent was when he came to our church was to actually kill somebody.”
Fortunately, Johnson has training in how to de-escalate conflicts, which he relied upon to calm Aziz down. After having the crazed Muslim sit, Johnson prayed with him, then told him he needed to check on the children, which gave him a window to alert others to what was going on.
“Immediately my mind went to the fact that I knew we had several children and young members that were playing and running in the fellowship hall. I mouthed to them, ‘This man has a weapon, I need you guys to go,’” said Johnson.
Johnson took the opportunity to leave with the rest of the congregants, and thanks to his efforts with Aziz, nobody was injured. Police were able to track down Aziz later in a local subdivision, where they arrested him. He was found with a pistol and several loaded magazines, all of which could have easily been used to wreak havoc in the church.
Aziz was initially charged with felon in possession of a firearm. On Tuesday, he was also issued a charge for making a terroristic threat or impairing public/government service by Cherokee County officials.
However, it appears as if Aziz returned to the church sometime between the time everyone evacuated and when he was arrested. On Monday morning, a deacon walked in to find a note slid under the door, which was in stark contrast to the lunatic that confronted Johnson on Sunday.
“My name is Rasheed Abdul Aziz. You helped me at a time of need. This house is blessed by God & all faiths. Muslim, Jew & the Christian shall all gather here in Peace and Justice for God as a whole for the betterment of mankind as a whole. I thank you,” the note read.
In reaction to the note, Johnson remarked that it “was in stark contradiction to what (Aziz) did in deed and statement,” but he was thankful that he was able to create a plan and enact it to keep everyone safe.
The power of prayer is incredible, and it was shown with what happened between these two men. We all know the violent tendencies of the followers of Islam, yet through prayer, Johnson was able to keep them at bay.
God works in mysterious ways, and in this case, He was called upon and kept a church full of His people safe despite the imminent threat from a radical Islamist. It just goes to show you that when things are left in His hands, they’ll always work out for the best.