Manage episode 295144874 series 2851347
Rais Bhuiyan is a Bangladeshi American who was shot by a white supremacist as retaliation for the attacks of September 11th, four months after arriving in the United States. He joins us on this episode of American Muslim Project to share his remarkable story and mission to promote empathy and compassion.
Rais was thrilled to start his own American dream in Dallas after being granted a visa from the State Department’s lottery. He relays how his life instead became an “American nightmare” as Mark Anthony Stroman went on a killing spree, murdering two other South Asian men and nearly killing Rais in an attempt to hunt Arabs. We talk about that horrific day and how he called out for his mother, like George Floyd. Miraculously Rais lived, but the incident cost him his home, fiancé, job, sense of security, and the sight in his right eye. We learn of the hospital discharging him after he regained consciousness because of insurance and the Red Cross only allotting him a week’s worth of groceries.
Instead of campaigning for personal justice, however, Rais engaged in a fight for clemency for his attacker. Joined by a team backed by Amnesty International, Rais describes why and how he petitioned to save Stroman’s life, going all the way to the Supreme Court and also taking on the lethal injection manufacturer in Denmark. Discover how his request for mediation with his attacker played out and both of their transitions after the crime. At the same time, Rais founded World Without Hate, a nonprofit working to prevent and disrupt the cycles of hate and violence through storytelling and empathy. He shares the promise he made to Allah for letting him live and the Quran verse that inspired him.
Find out how the campaign played out and about the mentorship Rais now has with Stroman’s son. Check out his website and follow World Without Hate @worldwithouthate and @WWHforgive as they work toward a 9/11 hate crime resolution, among other projects. If nothing else examine your own ability to forgive, then spread the ultimate story of compassion to better this country—ours and Rais’s—that he still somehow manages to love.
American Muslim Project is a production of Rifelion, LLC.
Writer and Researcher: Lindsy Gamble
Show Edited by Mark Annotto and Asad Butt
Music by Simon Hutchinson
Hosted by Asad Butt