Christian janitor died saving Muslim students

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Christian janitor died saving Muslim students

http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/11/11/pakistan.hero/index.html

 

 

CNN wrote:

Islamabad, Paksitan (CNN) -- Life is slowly getting back to normal at the women's campus of Islamabad's International Islamic University.

The young women who study here chatter on the school's well-manicured lawns, their brightly-colored scarves and Pakistani dresses blowing in the wind on a sunny autumn day.

Barely three weeks ago, this quiet place of learning was the scene of a nightmare. On October 20, two suicide bombers launched near simultaneous attacks on both the men's and women's side of the campus.

Afsheen Zafar, 20, is in mourning. Three of her classmates, girls she describes as "shining stars," were killed on that terrible day.

Still, she says the carnage could have been much worse if not for the actions of a lowly janitor, who was also killed.

"If he didn't stop the suicide attacker, there could have been great, great destruction," Zafar says.

"He's now a legend to us," says another 20-year-old student named Sumaya Ahsan. "Because he saved our lives, our friends' lives."

 

The janitor's name was Pervaiz Masih. According to eyewitness accounts, the attacker approached disguised in women's clothing. He shot the guard on duty, and then approached the cafeteria, which was packed with hundreds of female students.

Masih intercepted the bomber in the doorway, however, and the bomber self-detonated right outside the crowded hall, spraying many of his explosive vest's arsenal of ball bearings out into the parking lot instead of into the cafeteria.

"The sweeper who was cleaning up here saw someone outside and went towards him," said Nasreen Siddique, a cafeteria worker who was wounded in the head, leg and arm by the blast. "[Masih] told him that he could not come inside because there were girls inside. And then they started arguing. And then we heard a loud blast and all the glass broke."

"Between 300 to 400 girls were sitting in there," said Professor Fateh Muhammad Malik, the rector of the university. "[Pervez Masih] rose above the barriers of caste, creed and sectarian terrorism. Despite being a Christian, he sacrificed his life to save the Muslim girls."

Masih was a member of Pakistan's Christian minority, traditionally one of the poorest communities in the country.

When the attacker struck, Masih had been on the job for less than a week, earning barely $60 a month.

 

Masih lived with seven other family members, in a single room in a crowded apartment house in the city of Rawalpindi. Until the attack his mother, 70-year old Kurshaid Siddique, worked as a cleaning lady at a nearby house to help make ends meet. Now, she makes a daily pilgrimage to the cemetery where Masih is buried.

Siddique is inconsolable. Asked if she was proud that some people were calling her son a hero, Siddique waved a hand in the air dismissively, answering, "My hero is dead now."

She pulls out a framed photo of her son, pictured wearing a button down white shirt and a thick mustache. When Masih's three-year-old daughter Diya sees his photo, she reaches for it, saying, "Mama, I want that picture."

From time to time, Diya turns to her mother and repeats one word, "Papa."

The Islamic University offered to give Diya a free education and employ Masih's widow, Shaheen Pervaiz.

Meanwhile, the Pakistani government has promised to award Masih's family 1 million rupees (about $12,000) for his bravery.

"He is a national hero because he saved the life of many girls," said Shahbaz Bhatti, minister of minorities in the Pakistani government. "As a Christian, a person of minority, he stood in front of the Taliban to protect the university."

But the grave of this national hero is a sorry sight. It is located in the poorer, garbage-strewn Christian half of a neighborhood cemetery, less then three feet from a muddy road.

Masih's mother and widow visit every day. One of his sisters crosses herself, then stoops down to pick up an empty pack of cigarettes someone threw onto the little mound of earth.

The family had to borrow money to pay for Masih's funeral and they are now behind on paying the rent. If the government money comes through, Masih's mother would like to decorate her son's grave.

"I would like him to have his name in cement with a nice poetry verse," she says. "And there should be a fence surrounding his grave."

 

 

 

 

 


Atheistextremist
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The instinct to protect the young has nothing

 

To do with religion.

You could ask 100 people on the street if they would die to save a couple of hundred young kids and they'd probably mostly say they would.

I think I would try. You wouldn't think about it - you'd just get in there and do all you could to eliminate the threat.

If there's anything about the story that bugs me it's the words "despite being a christian he sacrificed his life for muslims..." That's about as annoying as the jewish phrase "righteous gentiles".

I'm tired of the default that humans are instinctively, naturally evil and intolerant.

Respect to this quality human being, Mashish. RIP.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


Brian37
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Right. On a local message

Right.

On a local message board I posted a story about an atheist equating the "new atheists" to being as fundy as any Muslim or Christian. I pointed out the author was wrong. In  that  Hitchens and Harris and Dawkins, like most people, whom if came across a car crash would not stop and ask what the person's political party or religion was and refuse help and let them die if the person was of an opposite position. The Christian counterpart who responded agreed.

Our labels DO NOT change the fact that we are all human and under similar situations we would not behave much differently. What about all the witnesses who did not help? Plenty of people in violent situations help and plenty of people in violent situations don't help out of fear.

I am sorry this person died. But his actions were because of him, not his label. There are plenty of people around the world of all labels who have in the past, and to this day, risk their lives, or give up their lives to save others. Christianity did not invent human response anymore than any other religion, past or present.

 

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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Renee Obsidianwords
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I love a good human interest story...

 


 XXXXXX janitor died saving XXXXXXX students

Slowly building a blog at ~

http://obsidianwords.wordpress.com/


Vastet
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A noble act.

A noble act.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:
Respect to this quality human being, Mashish. RIP.


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Neat story.

Neat story.

 

Edit:  Actually, it is a shitty, tragic story where great suffering was caused by extremists.  But it is nice to see a good person get some props from the local community.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.