18 December 2007

Bangladeshi Muslim helps Jews under attack

Hassan Askari, a 20-year-old Bangladeshi accountancy student living in New York, is being hailed as a hero in New York after he helped rescue a group of four Jews from 14 Christian assailants who attacked them on the Subway.

When a member of the Christian group wished the Jewish passengers a merry Christmas, two of them replied with "Happy Hanukkah." According to the group of Jews, the Christians were not happy to hear that, and started assaulting the Jews, both physically and verbally, with the insults focusing on the victims' Jewish faith.

At that point, Askari stepped into the fray and pushed one of the Christian attackers. As a result, in Askari's words, "They grabbed me and punched and beat me up." He suffered bruises to the eyes and nose.

About protecting the Jewish victims of the attack, Askari says ""I just did what I had to do…. My parents raised me that way.... In Islam it teaches you to be helpful to your fellow man, to be kind, courteous."

According to Walter Adler, 23, one of the Jewish victims of the attack, "A random Muslim guy jumped in and helped a Jewish guy on Hanukkah - that's a miracle. He was the only person to help us…. He's basically a hero."

As a result of Askari's action, Adler managed to pull the emergency brake of the train. The police entered the carriage at the next station and arrested ten of the attackers.

Meanwhile, Askari celebrated Hanukkah with Adler the day after the incident (Al Arabiya).

Subhan Allah. This sort of story brings hope of a greater degree of understanding between Muslims, Jews and Christians, an understanding that may exist in many cases on a day-to-day level, but is often hidden underneath sensational news of discord.

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