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Hey, wait, he *is* a Muslim: Rais Bhuiyan Tries to Save His Shooter from Execution

Looks like Muslims aren’t all revenge-mongerers, thirsty for blood.

With One Day Left, Muslim Hate Crime Victim Tries To Save His Shooter From Execution

(ThinkProgress)

On September 21, 2001, a 41-year old white supremacist from Dallas walked into a gas station and opened fire on people he believed to be Arabs. Enraged by the 9/11 attacks, the shooter, Mark Anthony Stroman, killed an Indian man who was Hindu and a Pakistani man who was Muslim.
Rais Bhuiyan, a 37-year old Muslim Air Force pilot from Bangladesh, was Stroman’s third victim. Shot in the face at close range with a double-barrel gun, Bhuiyan survived the attack, suffering now from partial blindness. After admitting to the attacks, Stroman is scheduled to be executed tomorrow in Texas.

Bhuiyan, the lone survivor of Stroman’s attack, is now trying to save his life. After the attack, Bhuiyan told the New York Times that he spent his time “simply struggling to survive in this country.” But pulling on his profound capacity for forgiveness, he has spent the last several months petitioning Texas to spare Stroman’s life. When asked why, Bhuiyan said his Islamic faith taught him not to seek vengeance and that what Stroman “did was out of ignorance” about Islam:

Q Mr. Stroman has admitted trying to kill you. Why are you trying to save his life?

A I was raised very well by my parents and teachers. They raised me with good morals and strong faith. They taught me to put yourself in others’ shoes. Even if they hurt you, don’t take revenge. Forgive them. Move on. It will bring something good to you and them. My Islamic faith teaches me this too. He said he did this as an act of war and a lot of Americans wanted to do it but he had the courage to do it — to shoot Muslims. After it happened I was just simply struggling to survive in this country. I decided that forgiveness was not enough.That what he did was out of ignorance. I decided I had to do something to save this person’s life. That killing someone in Dallas is not an answer for what happened on Sept. 11.

Q If you had the chance to meet Mr. Stroman, what would you say to him?

A I requested a meeting with Mr. Stroman. I’m eagerly awaiting to see him in person and exchange ideas. I would talk about love and compassion. We all make mistakes. He’s another human being, like me. Hate the sin, not the sinner. It’s very important that I meet him to tell him I feel for him and I strongly believe he should get a second chance. That I never hated the U.S. He could educate a lot of people.

In response to Bhuiyan’s efforts, Stroman had this to say:

Q What do you think of Rais Bhuiyan’s efforts to keep you from being executed?

A “Yes, Mr Rais Bhuiyan, what an inspiring soul…for him to come forward after what ive done speaks Volume’s…and has really Touched My heart and the heart of Many others World Wide…Especially since for the last 10 years all we have heard about is How Evil the Islamic faith Can be…its proof that all are Not bad nor Evil.

Stroman’s realization stands in stark contrast — and as a strong rebuke — of the nation’s continuing descent into an Islamophobic age. Americans are living through a time when theexistence of Islam in the U.S. is seen as an insidious infiltration of homegrown terror and the sight of anything or anyone Islamic sparks visceral paranoia and outrage. Instead of fighting this reactionary tide, conservative politicians are exploiting the right-wing hatred as a way to raise their profile. Be it through congressional hearings or campaign platforms, the marginalization of Americans because of their faith threatens our core values and cultivates the very attitudes that stoke those like Stroman to violence.

Bhuiyan’s “deep Islamic Beliefs Have gave him the strength to Forgive the Un-forgiveable…that is truly Inspiring to me, and should be an Example for us all. The Hate, has to stop, we are all in this world together,” said Stroman. “Its almost been 10 years since The world stopped Turning, and we as a nation will never be able to forget what we felt that day, I surely wont, but I can tell you what im feeling Today, and that’s very grateful for Rais Bhuiyan’s Efforts to save my life after I tried to end His.”

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  • Siberian

    What a beautiful act of compassion!
    It’s great that there are people like Mr. Rais Bhuiyan with such a strong Iman. I don’t know if I could forgive someone who would try to kill me.

    As for the “Well he is acting like a Christian, not a Muslim.” – only constrained TV-brainwashed person could think that Christians have some kind of a monopoly for forgiveness.
    I wonder what would those “religious experts” say when they learn that Prophet Muhammad (peace upon him) himself had forgiven many people who once had persecuted him. Would they call him “Christian” as well? (ostofir’Allah)

    My Allah protect us all from the evil.

  • A tragic ending to what was becoming a touching story of forgiveness, compassion & understanding. Not many will lose sleep over his death, but alive, his voice could have been used for good. Maybe I’m being naive.

  • JD

    Post-9/11 hate killer Mark Stroman executed in Texas

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-14227014
    Mark Stroman, 41, died by lethal injection despite last-minute representations by his lawyer at the US Supreme Court.

    In his final weeks Stroman’s plea for clemency was backed by Rais Bhuiyan, who was shot but survived.

    Mr Bhuiyan had said that killing Stroman was “not the solution”.

    The execution at Huntsville prison was delayed slightly by the final legal appeals, before Stroman was taken to the death chamber.

    “Even though I lay on this gurney, seconds away from my death, I am at total peace,” he said.

    “God bless America. God bless everyone,” he said. “Let’s do this damn thing.”

    Stroman was pronounced dead at 2053 CDT (0153 GMT).
    ‘Hate is ignorance’

    Speaking to the BBC before Stroman’s execution, Mr Bhuiyan, 37, said Stroman was guilty of “hate crime”, but warned that his death would not achieve anything.

    “His execution will not eradicate hate crimes from this world. We will just simply lose another human life,” Mr Bhuiyan said.

    Stroman’s execution was the eighth in Texas during 2011 so far, and came as his lawyers sought a last-minute stay at the nation’s highest court.

    They cited the “significant surprise” of Mr Bhuiyan’s support, and argued that Stroman’s path to “this violent frenzy” was not made clear by defence lawyers during earlier trials and appeals.

    Stroman admitted the killings, saying he was motivated by anger at the 9/11 attacks and wanted to take revenge on Muslims – or people who resembled Muslims.

    “I had some poor upbringing and I grabbed a hold of some ideas which was ignorance, you know, and hate is pure ignorance. I no longer want to be like hate, I want to be like me,” he told the BBC.

  • Franczeska

    I don’t see anything wrong with that. He did murder two people, after all. I wonder how the families and friends of his victims that died felt about this effort to commute his sentence? Did anyone even ask them? Justice was served! Let this be a warning any and all who would murder innocent people.

  • mindy1

    The sentence was not commuted-he was executed

  • Skhan

    It is beautiful of Mr. Bhuiyan to do this. The world needs more people like him. Mashallah.

  • Of course he is fully entitled to pursue the death penalty for the man and no one will berate him for that, but to have the capacity to forgive is much better.

    May Allah reward him in this life and the hereafter.

    I dont think I would be so merciful in his shoes.

  • Sahra

    I hate death penalty..Although this man has committed a horrible hate crime against innocent human beings, and that the first human reaction to seek vengeance(an eye for an eye)for this type of crime is understandable, i think the final judge on life and death should be God, NOT man. But i hope this criminal will repent deeply and ask for forgiveness both to God and his victims.

  • corey

    @ustadh
    compassion jihad, that might work along with community service jihad, charity jihad, soft drink jihad, painting jihad, and medicine jihad, or going in quietly jihad as this peanut brained gallery seem to imply http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/07/fbi-called-muslim-leader-after-arrest-of-miami-imams-to-reassure-him-that-there-was-no-rudeness-or-v.html. I guess they like the jack bauer style of arresting people.

  • Perseveranze

    “The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (the evil) with one which is better (i.e., Allah orders the faithful believers to be patient at the time of anger, and to excuse those who treat them badly) then verily he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend. But none is granted it (the above quality) except those who are patient – and none is granted it except the owner of the great portion (of happiness in the Hereafter, i.e., Jannah and of a high moral character) in this world.” (Quran 41:34,35)

    ^Isn’t that just beautiful? Especially reflecting on the fact that Stromen, who once hated this Muslim, ends up saying he’s an “Inspiring soul”.

    Subhanallah.

  • sunnishine

    I’ve already witnessed the spin in the comments section of the HuffPo.

    “Well he is acting like a Christian, not a Muslim.”

    or

    “Well, I’m glad this is his interpretation of his religion, but it does nothing to make up for the thousands of people who die every year because of how most Muslims interpret their religion.”

    It gets so old….

  • Ustadh

    Seriously…this man has a compassionate heart. They will chalk up to taqiyya, or maybe call it “compassion Jihad”.

  • Crow

    What an example to everyone…unbelivable. I don’t know if I could do this.

  • Nur Alia

    Da’wah.

  • JD

    Lets see how Julius Streicher aka Pam Geller would twist this story……

    Pam Geller: He is using the Islamic principle of forgiveness and so applying Sharia law.

  • mindy1

    May have made 😳

  • Al

    Masha’Allaah!

  • mindy1

    Aww how wonderful. If he is successful, he made have made a convert 😀 I do not think I could be so forgiving

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