Clerk Thwarts Robber, Gives Lesson in Kindness

Shotgun-carrying shopkeeper gives bat-wielding crook $40, bread, Islam introduction

After getting the drop on a bat-wielding robber, Mohammed "Mo" Sohail did what any good Muslim would do: he gave the man $40 and a loaf of bread, and then converted him to Islam.

Shortly past midnight on May 21, Sohail was working in his Long Island grocery store when he was confronted by a masked goon with a baseball bat demanding that he hand over some cash. Sohail slowly crouched behind the counter, where he claimed to have some money, but when he rose, he leveled a 9mm rifle at the thief.

Unaware that Sohail's weapon was unloaded, the crook dropped to his knees and began begging for mercy, explaining that he was poor and unemployed and that he and his family were hungry.

Moved by the man's story, Sohail told him, "Promise me that you'll never rob anybody again." 

After getting a teary promise to follow the straight and narrow from the robber, Sohail went to the register, pulled out two $20 bills and tossed them to his erstwhile attacker.

"It break my heart," said Sohail. "I feel bad for him...he was crying, begging with me.  I say okay.  I try to help everybody."

So he threw in a loaf of bread for good measure and started to convert the would-be robber.

"You're a very nice guy, a gentle man," the would-be robber told Sohail.  "I want to be a Muslim like you."

"I said, 'Do you really want to do that?' " Sohail said. "He said, 'Yes,' so I told him to stand up and raise his hand."

Sohail then led the robber through a Muslim profession of faith.

"And I said, 'Congratulations,'" the shopkeeper said.

Sohail says he has no interest in pressing charges and that the man is welcome back in his store any time -- provided it's as a paying customer.

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