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Rais Bhuiyan’s remarkable story

The New York Times has an excellent interview with a Bangladeshi Muslim immigrant named Rais Bhuiyan, who was nearly killed by a man targeting people he thought were Arabs shortly after 9/11:

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.

When asked why he was trying to save his shooter’s life, Bhuiyan responded:

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.

Bhuiyan’s story is remarkable, but unfortunately one part of it is all too common:

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.

Here’s hoping that one day we have a health system that shows the same kind compassion to the uninsured, like Bhuiyan, that he is showing to the man who nearly killed him.

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