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View Full Version : The Hated and the Hater, Both Touched by Crime


khan28
July 19, 2011, 01:08 PM
Mark Anthony Stroman, 41, a stonecutter from Dallas, shot people he believed were Arabs, saying he was enraged by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. He killed at least two: Vasudev Patel, an Indian immigrant who was Hindu, and Waqar Hasan, a Muslim born in Pakistan.

A third shooting victim, Rais Bhuiyan, 37, a former Air Force pilot from Bangladesh, survived after Mr. Stroman shot him in the face at close range. Mr. Stroman admitted to the shootings. He is scheduled to be executed on Wednesday.

Mr. Bhuiyan, despite being partly blinded in his right eye, has spent the past several months creating a Web site with a petition and meeting with officials in Texas to try to persuade the state to spare Mr. Stroman.

Mr. Bhuiyan was interviewed over the phone. Mr. Stroman responded to questions in a typewritten letter dated June 26 that included a photograph of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001: smoke is seen billowing out of the North Tower and United Airlines Flight 175 is moments away from striking the South Tower. The ellipses in his answers are his.

Q Mr. Bhuiyan, you were working as a clerk at a friend’s service station on Sept. 21, 2001. What do you remember?

A I was robbed a couple of times. It was a dangerous neighborhood. People would come into the store to sell televisions and computers. One time a man came with a gun and I thought he wanted to sell it to make money. He said, “If you don’t give me money I will blow your head off.” On Sept. 21, it was Friday around 12:30 in the afternoon. Business was slow. It was raining cats and dogs. The neighbor from the barber shop had come in and brought chips and drinks. Then there’s a guy coming into the store with a hat and sunglasses and a bandanna and a gun in his hand. I thought it was a robbery. I said, “Don’t shoot me please. Take all the money.” He said, “Where are you from?” He was four or five feet away from me. I felt cold air in my spine. I said, “Excuse me?” It was a double-barrel gun. I felt a million bee stings on my face at the same time. Then I heard an explosion. I saw images of my parents, my siblings and my fiancée and then a graveyard and I thought, “Am I dying today?” I looked down and saw blood was pouring from my head. I placed both my hands on my head to get my brains in and I screamed, “Mom!” I looked and he was still staring at me and I thought he might shoot me again if I don’t fall and he doesn’t think I’m dead. The floor was getting wet with my blood. Then he left the store. I could not believe he shot me. I thought I was dreaming, going through a hallucination. I didn’t do anything wrong. I was not a threat to him. I couldn’t believe someone would just shoot you like that.

Q What happened next?

A I wanted to go outside. I went to the barber shop and they ran away. They saw me full of blood running like a slaughtered chicken and they thought the guy was behind me. I saw my face in the barbershop mirror and I couldn’t believe it was me. (He begins to cry). A few minutes before, I had been a young guy in a T-shirt and shorts and tennis shoes. (He begins to cry more forcefully). Sorry, I haven’t cried for the past nine years. I was lucky because there was an ambulance in the area. I was asking God, asking for forgiveness, saying I would do my best. Reciting verses from the Koran. I said I would dedicate my life to the poor. I felt my eyes were closing and it felt like my brain was shutting down slowly.

Q What was the extent of your injuries?

A There were 38 pellets in my face. I couldn’t open my eyes or talk or open my jaw. I couldn’t even eat or drink anything. It was very painful to even swallow because I was shot in my throat. After a few hours in the hospital I could open my left eye. My face was heavily swollen. There were gunshot wounds. My face was horrible. I couldn’t believe it was my face. I prayed, “Please God, give me my face back.” ( Mr. Bhuiyan was discharged the day after being treated; he was told he did not have health insurance. For the next several months, he slept on people’s couches and had to rely on physicians’ samples for medication, including painkillers and eye drops. He had several operations on his right eye; he now has only limited vision in it.)

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. Thinking about what is going to happen makes me very emotional. I can’t sleep. Once I go to bed I feel there is another person that I know who is in his bed thinking about what is going to happen to him — that he is going to be tied to a bed and killed. It makes me very emotional and very sad and makes me want to do more.

• • •

Q How are you doing, Mr. Stroman?

A “i’ve only 25 days left until Texas Straps Me to a Gurney and pumps me full of toxic bug juice, But then again, we all face an Ending at some time or another. All is well, Spirits are high, i sit here with a Cup of Coffee and some Good ole Classic Rock playing on My radio, how Ironic, the song ‘Free Bird’ by Lynyrd Skynyrd...”

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.”

Q Tell me what you are thinking now, a few weeks before your scheduled execution.

A “Not only do I have all My friends and supporters trying to Save my Life, but now i have The Islamic Community Joining in...Spearheaded by one Very Remarkable man Named Rais Bhuiyan, Who is a Survivor of My Hate. His 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. My jesus Faith & Texas Roots have Deepened My Understanding as well. 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. A lot of people out There are still hurt and full of hate, and as I Sit here On Texas Death watch counting down to my Own Death, I have been given the chance to openly Express whats inside this Texas Mind and heart, and hopefully that something good will come of this. We need More Forgiveness and Understanding and less hate.” Mr. Stroman signed off, “Texas Loud & Texas proud...TRUE AMERICAN.... Living to Die – Dying to Live.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/19/us/19questions.html?_r=2&src=ISMR_HP_LO_MST_FB&pagewanted=all

RazabQ
July 19, 2011, 01:18 PM
What no regret about the two people who did not survive?

Equinox
July 19, 2011, 07:21 PM
I wonder what the families of the two people killed think of this guy's publicity stunt.

Zeeshan
July 19, 2011, 07:24 PM
Time for merging with doc's original thread perhaps....? :]

Banglatiger84
July 20, 2011, 01:34 AM
While our Deshi Bhai's intention is nice, most commentators on this topic are saying the ones who matter more are the 2 dead men's family.

On a personal note, I was in Austin those days, and i still remember my Pakistani roommate coming home at 1am few days after 9/11, and saying "a guy killed 30 desis in Dallas" .

I was shaken, but later found this was the incident that led to rumors of 30 people being killed

PoorFan
July 20, 2011, 02:31 AM
While our Deshi Bhai's intention is nice, most commentators on this topic are saying the ones who matter more are the 2 dead men's family.

Yeah, that claim indeed has more weight.

Banglatiger84
July 20, 2011, 11:37 PM
A multiple murderer who went on the rampage after the 9/11 attacks, killing three people he thought were Arabs, has been executed in the US state of Texas.
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 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-14199078), 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.