Rais Bhuiyan, Post-9/11 Hate Crime Victim, Campaigning to Stop Attacker's Execution
Ten days after 9/11, Rais Bhuiyan was shot in the face by a man named Mark Stroman, who carried out a string of attacks against people of Middle Eastern and Muslim descent in 2001. Bhuiyan was the only one of Stroman's victims to survive, although he had to have multiple reconstructive surgeries, lost vision in his right eye, and still has 35 pellets in the right side of his face. Stroman is scheduled to be executed on July 20; he was convicted of the shooting death of another victim, Vasudev Patel. And Bhuiyan is campaigning to stop the execution:
"I strongly believe executing him is not a solution. We will just simply lose a human life without dealing with the root cause, which is hate crime," Bhuiyan says. "In Islam it says that saving one human life is the same as saving the entire mankind. Since I forgave him, all those principles encouraged me to go even further, and stop his execution and save another human life."
Bhuiyan, who is originally from Bangladesh, is even working with Stroman's defense attorney to prevent the execution from happening. Talk about being the bigger person.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.