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View Full Version : An "unwanted pest" (as bigkarl thinks) is fighting for his shooter's life



LostInTheKHole
07-12-2011, 11:20 AM
http://www.altmuslim.com/a/a/a/4368

How would you respond if someone tried to kill you because of who you are? I know what my own responses would be: anger, fear, rage. For Rais Bhuiyan, the answer was different: forgiveness. When I first heard Rais' story, I could hardly believe it. A Muslim victim of a post-9/11 hate crime was fighting to save the life of his attacker. And one of the reasons that Bhuiyan was targeted – his faith tradition – is also the motivation for trying to save his attacker's life.

When I first heard Rais Bhuiyan's story, I could hardly believe it. A Muslim victim of a post-9/11 hate crime was fighting to save the life of his attacker. And one of the reasons that Bhuiyan was targeted – his faith tradition – is also the motivation for trying to save his attacker's life.

Ten days after the September 11 attacks in 2001, Bhuiyan, an immigrant from Bangladesh, was working at a gas station in Dallas when a man walked in with a gun. Thinking the store was being robbed, Bhuiyan opened the cash register. Instead, the man asked him where he was from. "Excuse me?" Bhuiyan responded. Mark Stroman, a white supremacist who was targeting men who appeared to him to be Middle Eastern, then shot Bhuiyan in the face.

Stroman is scheduled to be executed by the state of Texas on 20 July for the murder of Vasudev Patel, an Indian immigrant killed on 4 October 2001; evidence was also presented at trial that Stroman shot and killed Waqar Hasan, a Pakistani immigrant. And Rais Bhuiyan is fighting to save Stroman's life.

I had the chance to speak with Bhuiyan briefly after learning about his campaign through Amnesty International.

Talking about his current campaign to convince the parole board to overturn the death penalty in Stroman's case, it was clear that his faith was the primary motivating factor. In 2009, Bhuiyan completed the haj, the pilgrimage to Mecca, where he saw an amazingly diverse group come together to pray and worship. He recalled growing up as a young man in Bangladesh in a religious family, where his family prayed five times a day and his grandfather would visit every Thursday to read the Qur'an and tell his family stories from Muslim tradition, especially about the Prophet Muhammad.

One of the stories that impacted Bhuiyan the most was that of Muhammad's visit to Ta'if, a valley near Mecca, to spread the message of Islam. The people of Ta'if reacted cruelly, forcing him to leave. In the version of the story that Bhuiyan learned growing up, the angel Gabriel appeared with the angel of the mountains, who said to Muhammad, "If you like, I shall cause mountains surrounding Al-Ta'if, to fall on them, and crush them into pieces." But Muhammad declined, saying that the children of those who had been responsible for casting him out might someday embrace the message he had come to spread.

The message of forgiveness and redemption at the heart of this story rings powerfully true today in the lives of Mark Stroman and Rais Bhuiyan. When Stroman learned about Bhuiyan's work for his case, he broke down in tears. If Stroman is not executed, Bhuiyan says, "I believe he will be able to reach out to others. If he can touch one life, that would be a success. If he is gone, we lose the opportunity to educate others."

This faith in the future, and in the belief that we can positively impact the lives of others by sharing our stories, is a powerful anecdote to the fear that has gripped our country in the years since 9/11 – fear that has sometimes sparked violence. What is at the root of Stroman's crime, Bhuiyan believes, is hate. And he believes that the antidote to this hatred is education and compassion, not further violence. Despite what has happened to him, Bhuiyan believes that the United States is "still a beautiful country."

After hearing Bhuiyan's story, I realised I had gained a deeper understanding of forgiveness and compassion, some of the highest principles of my own faith tradition as well as his. His story should compel us to look at our country and its future.

Will we choose fear? Or will we choose to reach out to those who are different from us, to hear their stories, to begin to dismantle our fears and choose instead to have faith in our future?

Laurna Strikwerda is a programme coordinator with the Muslim-Western dialogue programme at the international conflict transformation organisation Search for Common Ground. This article was written for the Common Ground News Service (CGNews).
inbe4Muslimsdonotintegrate
What do bigkarl and the others say about this?

NiceBoat
07-12-2011, 11:27 AM
GJ bangladeshi man.

Though the guy clearly doesn't deserve the compassion and forgiveness this man is showing, it certainly isn't my place to say who he can and cannot forgive.

LostInTheKHole
07-12-2011, 11:33 AM
GJ bangladeshi man.

Though the guy clearly doesn't deserve the compassion and forgiveness this man is showing, it certainly isn't my place to say who he can and cannot forgive.

bird72 has yet to post in this thread, no surprise there

Vito-C
07-12-2011, 11:36 AM
BRB 1 muslim absolves all atrocities done in the name of islam

LostInTheKHole
07-12-2011, 11:38 AM
BRB 1 muslim absolves all atrocities done in the name of islam

You late for your Ustase gathering brah?

NiceBoat
07-12-2011, 11:39 AM
BRB 1 muslim absolves all atrocities done in the name of islam

The same could be said about anything. Its not like Islam is bad just because. Some muslims are bad because they do some f'ed up stuff.

Vito-C
07-12-2011, 11:41 AM
You late for your Ustase gathering brah?

Why the hate brah I was clearly supporting your viewpoint

LostInTheKHole
07-12-2011, 11:45 AM
Why the hate brah I was clearly supporting your viewpoint

lol whatever Ustase boy

psychnurse2012
07-12-2011, 11:45 AM
bird72 has yet to post in this thread, no surprise there

did not know bird was muslim....or am i confused?

also, i think it's kinda cruel that this dude is doing this when the accused is on death row for killing someone else, anyways. i could understand if it was solely him that was harmed by this maniac. i am kind of torn also, in whether to trust in what this man is saying and acknowledge it as good, or to just call b.s on it all.

don't know really what significance it can really do.....just like my post....what's the point?

LostInTheKHole
07-12-2011, 11:48 AM
did not know bird was muslim....or am i confused?

also, i think it's kinda cruel that this dude is doing this when the accused is on death row for killing someone else, anyways. i could understand if it was solely him that was harmed by this maniac. i am kind of torn also, in whether to trust in what this man is saying and acknowledge it as good, or to just call b.s on it all.

don't know really what significance it can really do.....just like my post....what's the point?

bird72 (or should I say turd72) is an Evangelical nutjob who is wholly convinced ALL Muslims are evil and refuses to believe otherwise
Since the victim is a Muslim and most of R/P overlook (or in some cases endorse) hate crimes against Muslim immigrants for holding them collectively responsible for what happens overseas, this thread doesn't get as much action as others do
Nothing wrong with posting your take on it, that's what this is for

bird72
07-12-2011, 11:51 AM
bird72 has yet to post in this thread, no surprise there

I'm not Muslim, but, forgiveness and redemption is Jesus message, so, I'm against death penalty, don't see what is your point with me and this thread.....:confused:

psychnurse2012
07-12-2011, 11:51 AM
bird72 (or should I say turd72) is an Evangelical nutjob who is wholly convinced ALL Muslims are evil and refuses to believe otherwise
Since the victim is a Muslim and most of R/P overlook (or in some cases endorse) hate crimes against Muslim immigrants for holding them collectively responsible for what happens overseas, this thread doesn't get as much action as others do
Nothing wrong with posting your take on it, that's what this is for

oh i understand. i kinda figured he wasn't muslim but had to ask. many conversations with him on here, didn't make him out to be one.

Rune
07-12-2011, 11:56 AM
Ah, I see.. those stonings you hear about in Pakistan, and those hangings you hear about in in Iran must be anomalies.

bird72
07-12-2011, 11:57 AM
bird72 (or should I say turd72) is an Evangelical nutjob who is wholly convinced ALL Muslims are evil and refuses to believe otherwise


Wut? now I acknowledge, that my philosophy is that all Muslims are evil, now SK and Trance are going to take me out from their Facebook........:o

psychnurse2012
07-12-2011, 12:01 PM
Wut? now I acknowledge, that my philosophy is that ALL Muslims are evil, now SK and Trance are going to take me out from their Facebook........:o

what?

Tiffany Wantsmore
07-12-2011, 12:02 PM
also, i think it's kinda cruel that this dude is doing this when the accused is on death row for killing someone else, anyways. i could understand if it was solely him that was harmed by this maniac. i am kind of torn also, in whether to trust in what this man is saying and acknowledge it as good, or to just call b.s on it all.

don't know really what significance it can really do.....just like my post....what's the point?

I agree. The families of the other victims might think the death penalty is entirely justified. Fair play to the guy though for his attitude.

bird72
07-12-2011, 12:03 PM
what?

Sarcasm button is on!

http://i497.photobucket.com/albums/rr331/guitar_guy723/sarcasmbutton.jpg

LostInTheKHole
07-12-2011, 12:04 PM
Ah, I see.. those stonings you hear about in Pakistan, and those hangings you hear about in in Iran must be anomalies.

You're a dumbass, if you're going to hold Muslims in America responsible for what happens in Pakistan or Iran, then using your absurd logic then Christians in Pakistan should be held accountable for what America does to Muslim countries :rolleyes:

LostInTheKHole
07-12-2011, 12:05 PM
Wut? now I acknowledge, that my philosophy is that all Muslims are evil, now SK and Trance are going to take me out from their Facebook........:o

Well, kooks gotta stick together one way or another

Rune
07-12-2011, 12:09 PM
You're a dumbass, if you're going to hold Muslims in America responsible for what happens in Pakistan or Iran, then using your absurd logic then Christians in Pakistan should be held accountable for what America does to Muslim countries :rolleyes:

I'm not the one that feels that cherry picking a single example demonstrates anything.

LostInTheKHole
07-12-2011, 12:14 PM
I'm not the one that feels that cherry picking a single example demonstrates anything.

Didn't you just do that with Pakistan and Iran?
Idiot.

bird72
07-12-2011, 12:16 PM
Didn't you just do that with Pakistan and Iran?
Idiot.

Why are you so bitter? relax brah, life is beautiful....

Rune
07-12-2011, 12:19 PM
Didn't you just do that with Pakistan and Iran?
Idiot.

herp derp, unaware of counter examples.

you tried to make a stupid point through a single futile example, I decided to do the same to you.. capiche?

StylesOfBeyond
07-12-2011, 12:23 PM
Actually, Rune didn't contradict himself. He said that this doesn't vindicate the actions of those who do horrible things. That doesn't imply that others are responsible for what someone they don't even know did, just that this man's goodness doesn't have any bearing on those that beat their families and kill people for nothing.

LostInTheKHole
07-12-2011, 12:25 PM
Actually, Rune didn't contradict himself. He said that this doesn't vindicate the actions of those who do horrible things. That doesn't imply that others are responsible for what someone they don't even know did, just that this man's goodness doesn't have any bearing on those that beat their families and kill people for nothing.

Yeah I see your point but see, that bearing wouldn't matter at any given point since the keyboard jihadis would think he's selling out to the "kuffar" by pandering to the West /facepalm

Rune
07-12-2011, 12:26 PM
Actually, Rune didn't contradict himself. He said that this doesn't vindicate the actions of those who do horrible things. That doesn't imply that others are responsible for what someone they don't even know did, just that this man's goodness doesn't have any bearing on those that beat their families and kill people for nothing.

According to his screen name he's taken too much veterinary anaesthetic, I understand how his reasoning process probably isn't up to snuff, and how he may have missed my subtle jabs. :D