“The only good Indian is a dead Indian.” “Dogs and Irish need not apply.” “Everybody is arguing whether or not it is a BAN. Call it what you want, it is about keeping bad people (with bad intentions) out of country!”
President Donald Trump recently issued an executive order on immigration that bars citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries — Iran, Sudan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia —from entering the United States for the next 90 days.
Since some people seem to have missed “Friendship is Magic” Day in pre-school, let me just point out that not all Muslims are terrorists; in fact, some of them are heroes and many or most are all-around good people.
• On 14 May 2013, fire broke out in an apartment building in Tehran, the capital of Iran. Omid Abbasi and other Iranian firefighters arrived to fight the fire. Learning that a seven-year-old girl was trapped inside, Mr. Abbasi rushed into the building and found the girl. To keep her alive, he gave her his oxygen mask. He rescued the girl, but he suffered brain death due to lack of oxygen, although doctors in a hospital emergency room tried to save his life. After he died, his family donated his organs to three patients who needed transplants. His mother said, “He was kind and loved saving people.” The little girl attended Mr. Abbasi’s funeral and said, “He saved my life, and I am really thankful.” Reddit user D3VO_Lution commented, “I will never cease to be amazed by the sheer selflessness of some people in this world.”
• On 11 September 2001, terrorists attacked and destroyed the Twin Towers, aka the World Trade Center, in New York City. In doing so, they destroyed a Muslim prayer room in the south tower, and they killed many practicing Muslims. Sinclair Hejazi Abdus-Salaam, a construction electrician, remembers, “We [Muslims] weren’t aliens. We had a foothold there. You’d walk into the elevator in the morning and say, ‘Salaam aleikum,’ to one construction worker and five more guys in suits would answer, ‘Aleikum salaam.’” (The words mean, “Peace be unto you.”) Zafar Sareshwala, a financial executive for the Parsoli Corporation, remembers the prayer room: “It was so freeing and so calm. It had the feel of a real mosque. And the best part is that you are in the epicenter of capitalism — New York City, the World Trade Center — and you had this island of spiritualism. I don’t think you could have that combination anywhere in the world.”
In addition, about three dozen Muslim employees of Windows on the World, the restaurant at the top of the north tower, said their prayers in a stairwell between the 106th and 107th floors. They would put a tablecloth on the landing in the stairwell, and they used flattened cardboard boxes as prayer mats. During the holy month of Ramadan, the Muslims brought favorite foods from home, and after the daylight fast, they ate the iftar meal together in the cafeteria for employees. A Muslim chef named Sekou Siby says, “Iftar was my best memory. It was really special.”
Many practicing Muslims — approximately 60 — died during the terrorist attack, and Fekkak Mamdouh, a head waiter, and other Muslims attended and participated in a worship service, which had the support of city, state, and federal authorities who arranged buses to transport the Muslims to Warren Street, from which they saw the ruins of the Twin Towers. During the worship service, the Muslims did the very good deed of chanting the salat al-Ghaib, which is a funeral prayer chanted when no intact corpse exists. (The bodies of many victims of 9-11 were not recovered.)
During 2010, a controversy raged over the construction of a Muslim community center with a prayer room that would be built near the site of the Twin Towers. Mr. Mamdouh says, “It is a shame, shame, shame. Sometimes I wake up and think, this is not what I came to America for. I came here to build this country together. People are using this issue for their own agenda. It’s designed to keep the hate going.”
• On 9 September 2004, a terrorist bomb exploded at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia. Nine people died, including the suicide bomber and the mother of Elizabeth “Manny” Musus, age five. Manny was severely injured in the explosion, but Ahmad Usman, an air-conditioning worker and devout Muslim, rescued her. Manny’s Italian stepfather, Manuel Musu, and Manny were able to meet Mr. Usmna. Mr. Musu said, “I told Manny, ‘This is the man who held you the last time and [got] you [to] the hospital, so we must say thank you to him.’ But she’s a little bit shy with people she doesn’t know. I’m so grateful to meet him. Of course, it is a natural thing for me to meet the guy who saved my daughter’s life.”
Mr. Usman was working at the time of the terrorist bombing. He ran toward the site of the bombing, where he saw many bloody people. He also saw an injured Embassy security guard trying to help a little girl: Manny. Her mother was lying nearby, dead. Because Manny’s wounds were so bad, he thought at first that she was dead. But he picked her up and carried her outside. A car stopped, and its driver motioned for him to get inside. He got in, and then Manny began to move. Mr. Usman said, “I was saying, ‘Oh my God, the girl is still alive.’ She was trembling and saying, ‘Mama, Mama.’” The driver drove them to the hospital.
Mr. Usman cried while holding her because he was remembering his own daughter who had died when she was only three months old because of brain inflammation. He said, “It made me sad because it reminded me of my daughter who died. The eyes of the little girl reminded me of my daughter.”
Photographs of Mr. Usman’s rescue appeared in magazines, making his six-year-old son, Rido, proud. Rido showed the photographs of his father to his friends and said, “This is my father.”
NOTE: If you need cheering up in these hard-hearted times, join a peaceful protest, then search for “Kindest People David Bruce” on the internet. Lots of free downloads can be found on sites such as Smashwords.
For More Information:
Source: “Omid Abbasi, Iranian Firefighter Who Died After Saving Young Girl, Saves 3 More Lives Through Organ Donation (VIDEO).” Huffington Post. 20 May 2013 <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/20/iranian-firefighter-hero_n_3308953.html?utm_hp_ref=good-news>. Also: Arash Khalatbari, “Iranian fireman donates his organs after dying saving a little girl.” Press TV. 19 May 2013 <http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/05/19/304357/seven-year-girl-omid-abassi-qalibaf-fire-fighter-tehran-department/>. Also: Photo of Mr. Abbasi and the Girl He Saved. <http://i.imgur.com/mm3Iqs4.jpg?1>. Accessed 21 May 2013.
Samuel G. Freedman, “Muslims and Islam Were Part of Twin Towers’ Life.” The New York Times. 10 September 2010 <http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/11/nyregion/11religion.html?_r=1>.
Cindy Wockner, “Manny meets her savior.” Free Republic and Herald Sun. 25 September 2004 <http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1227252/posts>.