The True American: The Unlikely Campaign to Save a 9/11 Revenge Killer

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

A photo of Rais Bhuiyan. (World Without Hate/Rais Bhuiyan)

Ten days after the 9/11 attacks, a Texas auto body repairman named Mark Stroman walked into a gas station just outside Dallas and shot the man behind the counter in the face, a Bangladeshi immigrant named Rais Bhuiyan. 

It wasn't the first-time Stroman, an avowed "American terrorist," targeted a brown-skinned gas station attendant. He had already killed Waqar Hasan, also a convenience-store worker. Eleven days later, he'd go on to shoot and kill another gas station owner, an Indian-American Hindu named Vasudev Patel. 

Of all the men Stroman targeted, only one, Rais Bhuiyan, would survived his attack. The Takeaway spoke to him in 2011, ten years after that attack. Searching for meaning in the aftermath of the assault, Bhuiyan found forgiveness for his attacker. Mark Stroman had been sentenced to death, but Bhuiyan began to campaign to save his life.

New York Times Columnist Anand Giridharadas chronicles Bhuiyan and Stroman's stories in his new book "The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas." He explains why Bhuiyan started a campaign to have his attacker spared from the death penalty.

Watch a video of Bhuiyan telling his story below.


Anand Giridharadas

Produced by:

Mythili Rao


T.J. Raphael

Comments [3]


Truly inspiring and amazing story of human faith and forgiveness by a Muslim Bangladeshi immigrant of his white supremacist attacker who left him blind in one eye. Hard to believe that people like him still exist in this world. What an exemplary example for all of us who either indulge in religion bashing or believe in extremes and have forgotten what the values of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, integrity and simplicity mean because we sit so high in our judgement chairs and believe in our own false judgements like there is no tomorrow. ‪#‎Rais‬ Bhuiyan ‪#‎R‬.E.S.P.E.C.T.

May. 06 2014 02:46 PM
Darrell from new york city

save one life, you save an entire world

May. 06 2014 01:00 PM
slowdream101 from New Jersey

He's a better man than I am

May. 06 2014 10:53 AM

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