Amin Gauba has probably made you smile without you knowing. He owns Donut Mart.
He's also Muslim, though he says his faith rarely comes up.
"You never feel like, 'Oh, you're Muslim. You're brown. You're going to have issues,'" he said. "No."
In all ways, Albuquerque has been kind to Gauba. But three weeks ago, he passed the site of the newest Donut Mart set to open in a few months. A family car parked in the lot was covered in a not-so-subtle message.
"It said 'kill 'em all,'" Gauba said. "And so I was like, whatever. Again, me being dumb, I just didn't want to believe it. "
Looking back, Gauba said he should have been worried, but he couldn't force himself to take it seriously. Then on the same commute Thursday morning, it was scrawled on that soon-to-be Donut Mart like a billboard.
"The writing is so similar," Gauba said. "It's 'kill 'em all.'"
The property owner had it scrubbed off within hours, but Gauba started to notice some other vandalism like double-paned windows smashed out. Someone was mad. Someone wanted to be heard.
"I don't know what to do about it," he said.
Amin said the fear is not for himself or his brothers, but for the women in his life, including his wife.
"She wears a scarf. She wears hijab," he said. "She shows that she's Muslim. It's very obvious she's Muslim."
But the store is here to stay, and so is Gauba.
"You can't let people scare you," he said. "I would love to know who it is and talk to them and say, give me the reason why you did what you did."
Updated: October 06, 2017 06:17 AM
Created: October 05, 2017 09:34 PM
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