In September of 2001 Rais Bhuiyan was working at a gas station convenience store in Dallas Texas when a day laborer named Mark Stroman walked into the store and shot Bhuiyan in the face with a shotgun.
Stroman was seeking revenge on people who he viewed as Arab for the 9/11 attacks that had occurred just weeks earlier. Stroman’s killing-spree left two South Asian convenience store workers dead and seriously injured Bhuiyan.
A year later, Mark Stroman was put on trial for his crimes. At the trial Stroman dubbed himself the "Arab slayer" and called the shootings "patriotic" retribution for the terror attacks. Stroman was given the death penalty for his crimes, and a decade later he was executed by lethal injection.
However, before his execution, Stroman had a change of heart for his crimes, saying in his final moments that "hate is going on in the world and it has to stop." A main reason for Stroman's drastically altered point of view was the effort made to spare his life by Rais Bhuiyan.
Bhuiyan joins us to share his story and how he was not only able to forgive the man who tried to kill him, but also his efforts to spare Stroman’s life.
Bhuiyan’s story was told in Anand Giridharadas’ book “The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas,” and is the subject of an upcoming film by Academy Award winning director Kathryn Bigelow.
Rais Bhuiyan, victim of an attack by Mark Anthony Stroman, whose death sentence he later advocated to overturn; he’s the subject of Anand Giridharadas’ book “The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas,” which is being made into a movie by Kathryn Bigelow.