Saim, all arms and legs and knees and elbows, is old enough to reference a Tennessee zealot's threat to burn the Koran this Sept. 11, but young enough to wonder if he should tell the teacher when kids call him a terrorist.
"No," advises his big sister, Zunaira Shaukat, 19. "It will just make it worse. They'll call you a snitch."
Zunaira wears the traditional head scarf outside her home. In school, girls once offered her $100 to take it off. She refused. One girl ripped it off, and the pin scratched Zunaira's chin, drawing blood.
"It's hard. I used to think: Will people not like me because I'm Muslim?"
Qasim tells of a YouTube video popular with Muslim youth.
"A man is in his office praying. A woman walks in, and all of a sudden he pretends he's doing push-ups. It's funny, but it's also sad. He is afraid to be seen practicing his faith."
Saim said he loves going to the mosque to pray. Even when he was a 4-year-old in Pakistan, the family had to keep an eye on him because he'd trot off alone to the mosque when he heard the call to prayer.
He was wakeful all night after the vandalism. The next day at school no one mentioned it, even though the trouble at the mosque was all over the news.
"I kept expecting someone to say something. But no one did. Not a teacher. None of my friends. I just thought someone would say they were sorry that this happened because it is a place of prayer."
It is Ramadan, a month when observant Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset.
Pediatrician Aftab Naz, Saim's uncle, has had no food or water since early morning. It is afternoon and he has patients in several rooms at his office.
He greets each child with a hearty "How are we today?" varying the language depending on the family. He's fluent in Urdu, Punjabi, English and Spanish.
In his free time, Naz often acts as master of ceremonies at Pakistani events.
"You would find my jokes very funny if you spoke Urdu," he says.
After he disappears into another examining room, one of the clinic workers whispers that Naz doesn't charge when his patients are in financial trouble — but that she's not suppose to tell anyone.
"In his religion, good deeds are secrets," she says.
When Naz moved his family to Madera from Chicago, his wife didn't like the change. But one day she bought him a coat at a local store and asked if she could return it should he not like it.
"Oh, just take it home, Mrs. Naz, and if your husband doesn't like it, bring it back. If he does, send us a check," they told her.
The Nazes decided then that maybe there was something to small-town life.
Now, almost half of Madera's Muslim population are members of Dr. Naz's extended family. One brother is a manager at Wendy's; another a cook at Chevy's Tex Mex; a third is a pharmacy tech at Wal-Mart; and the fourth, Mohammad, works at the gas station. There are nephews and nieces and grandchildren and in-laws.
There were always misunderstandings about the family's religion, but before 9/11 they seemed harmless and well-meant.
A patient once wrote to Dr. Naz telling him he was loving, honest, hard-working and full of charity — the perfect Christian.
"I wasn't offended at all. These are the same traits of a good Muslim," he says. "They are just the traits of any good person."
During a short break between patients, Naz recounts brutal episodes of American history, from the killing of Indians during the westward expansion to the internment of the Japanese during World War II.
"Eventually there was shame for these things. So eventually America will decide that we Muslims are OK too," he says.
He is of two minds about the debated Islamic center in Manhattan. Two-thirds of New York City residents want it to be moved farther from ground zero, according to a New York Times poll released last week.
"As a Muslim, I take a pragmatic view and think 'move it.' When people did not accept him in Mecca, the prophet moved 3,000 miles away. But as an American, I have a problem with that. I believe everyone has an equal right to practice their faith, and hate should not change that."
His next patient is 10-year-old Jarred Bennett, who has a cough.
"I used to take care of his dad. Also his aunt," Naz says as he puts a stethoscope to Jarred's chest.
Lucille Bennett, Jarred's mother, didn't hear about the trouble at the mosque until she got to the clinic. While still in the waiting room, she determined she would say something.
The Bennetts are African Americans and Jehovah's Witnesses. A couple of months ago her husband was canvassing a neighborhood when a man on a bicycle hurled racial epithets at him.
"The other neighbors all came out and they profusely apologized to my husband. It means something when somebody else shows they're concerned," she says. "You don't feel so alone."
After quizzing Bennett on various colors of phlegm, Naz concentrates on his computer screen, filling out a prescription.
"Dr. Naz," Bennett says to him. "I heard what happened at your mosque. It's horrible."
Naz pivots and gives her his full attention, meeting her eyes.
"I've been here 30 years. Thirty years," he says. "But these things happen, right?"
"No," Bennett says. "It's horrible."