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Muslim helps Jews attacked on New York subway


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NEW YORK (CNN) -- A Muslim man jumped to the aid of three Jewish subway riders after they were attacked by a group of young people who objected to one of the Jews saying "Happy Hanukkah," a spokeswoman for the three said Wednesday.

 

Friday's altercation on the Q train began when somebody yelled out "Merry Christmas," to which rider Walter Adler responded, "Happy Hanukkah," said Toba Hellerstein.

 

"Almost immediately, you see the look in this guy's face like I've called his mother something," Adler told CNN affiliate WABC.

 

Two women who were with a group of 10 rowdy people then began to verbally assault Adler's companions with anti-Semitic language, Hellerstein said.

 

One member of the group allegedly yelled, "Oh, Hanukkah. That's the day that the Jews killed Jesus," she said.

 

When Adler tried to intercede, a male member of the group punched him, she said.

 

Another passenger, Hassan Askari -- a Muslim student from Bangladesh -- came to Adler's aid, and the group began physically and verbally assaulting him, Hellerstein said.

 

"A Muslim-American saved us when our own people were on the train and didn't do anything," Adler said.

 

Adler pulled the emergency brake and the train stopped at DeKalb Avenue station, where police came on board.

 

The 10 suspects, ages 19 to 20, were taken into custody, said Brooklyn district attorney spokesman Sandy Silverstein.

 

Askari was first handcuffed alongside them, but he was released when Adler told police he was not an attacker, Hellerstein said.

 

Alder was treated at Long Island College Hospital for injuries that included a fractured nose and a cut lip that required several stitches, while Askari suffered a black eye, Hellerstein said.

 

The suspects are to appear in Brooklyn District Court on February 7 on charges that include assault, attempted assault, menacing, harassment, unlawful assembly, riot and disorderly conduct, Silverstein said.

 

The New York Police Department's Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the incident, and will determine whether the suspects will be charged with hate crimes, Officer Philip Hauser told CNN.

 

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/12/12/subway.attack/index.html

 

A Muslim Bangladeshi student is to be honoured by the mayor of New York on Wednesday for helping three Jewish people who were being beaten up.

 

Hassan Askari has been described as a "latter-day Good Samaritan" for coming to the aid of the three, who were attacked earlier this month.

 

A gang yelling anti-Semitic slogans had assaulted them on the city's subway.

 

His intervention left him with a possible broken nose, a stitched lip, bruises and two black eyes.

 

'One family'

 

But it was sufficient for the attackers to turn their attention on him and allow one of those who was being attacked to raise the alarm and call the police.

 

"I was brought up to believe that you cannot walk away from an incident like this," he told the BBC.

 

"I felt I could not just stand there and watch these people being beaten up without doing anything to help.

 

"I believe we are all members of one family, and my religion teaches me always to come to the aid of my fellow man in distress."

 

The slightly-built accountancy student - who comes from an aristocratic Bengali family - was travelling from home on 9 December when he saw the attack take place on a crowded train.

 

Mr Askari has three forefathers who were knighted by British monarchs during the days of the Raj and is a member of the Dhaka Nawab family, an important political dynasty in the Indian subcontinent.

 

Around 10 people were attacking the three Jews after an argument had broken out.

 

"As the quarrel turned progressively more violent, scores of people on the train ignored the fight and didn't want to have anything to do with it," said Marc Scheier, a rabbi from the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, who presented Mr Askari with a bravery award earlier this month.

 

"Mr Askari - like the Good Samaritan - was the only person brave enough to intervene.

 

"The symbolism of his action at Christmas time is striking - a foreign Muslim coming to the aid of three Jews in an act of kindness and cooperation.

 

"People often forget that Judaism and Islam aren't so far apart as the radicals from both sides would have us believe. We are both Abrahamic religions and in many respects share a common faith."

 

'Unprovoked attack'

 

Mr Askari said that he was "overwhelmed" by the publicity his actions have generated, and "embarrassed" that the American press have labelled him a "hero of the city".

 

"I have friends who are Jews, Christians and Buddhists and would have acted in the same way if they were victims of an unprovoked attack," he said.

 

Rabbi Scheier said that he could tell from injuries sustained by one of the three victims that it was a "brutal and extremely violent" attack which would have required "immense courage" from Mr Askari to get involved in.

 

"He is such a humble and modest man blessed with the most extraordinary bravery," he said.

 

Ten people have been arrested in connection with the attack and three of them have appeared in court charged with assault and disorderly conduct.

 

Mr Askari is due to be presented with a medal on Wednesday that will be handed to him either by or on behalf of the Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg.

 

The student - whose mother, father and younger brother live in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka - says that his long term aim is to return to his beloved home country where he grew up as a child.

 

"Home is where the heart is and at least there is no subway there," he said.

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/7149916.stm

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I am more concerned that people would attack someone just because they said "Happy Hanukkah" instead of "Merry Christmas," and it sounds like they, the aggressors, were brainwashed into believing the old Nazi rigmarole about the Jews needing to be punished for killing their mythical "Jesus." :)

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There is right and there is wrong, religion is irrelevant. It is good to see that people can actually help one another but the reasons for the attack is stupid. I hope the prosecutors seek to place this as a hate crime for an extra years in prison. Those thugs deserve it.

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Some adult language, but very relevant, I feel:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LS_Uvg56U_o

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

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The good news is that they arrested the thugs who were physically assaulting folks on the subway. I'm with Sand. They broke the law and now they should stand in judgment. If they'd just been stupid, then it would merely be offensive. When they transcend stupidity to assault others on account of religion, they moved from offensive to dangerous. Anyhow, the guy said "Happy Hanukkah?" Good Lord, even if his intent were to be a jerk (which strains belief in the first place) what would warrant such a response? Idiot sticks.

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Well done to the fellow, regardless of the religion stuff they insist on hyping up. I think, as others have said, the one thing we should worry about is the idiots who would attack people for saying Happy Hannukah. It's indefensible and very unfortuante.

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Yeah, this is ridiculous.

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Aye. It is ridiculous. But assaults on people are hardly rare. They happen for all sorts of reasons, down to boredom.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Wait, isn't New York to Jews what San Fran is to gays?

 

Yeah, but San Fran is to gays what New York is to people getting beat up.

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One billion b-balls dribbling simultaneously throughout the galaxy. One trillion b-balls being slam dunked through a hoop throughout the galaxy. I can feel every single b-ball that has ever existed at my fingertips. I can feel their collective knowledge channeling through my viens. Every jumpshot, every rebound and three-pointer, every layup, dunk, and free throw. I am there.

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I prefer the seder. A festival of asking awkward damn questions. Awesome.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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What is hanuka anyway. Is that the deal where they ligth the candles, have a shindig, and sit around waiting for the second comming of the lord ?

 

From what I can gather from growing up watching Rugrats, it's to like, celebrate and comemorate when there were some people in a temple with only a days worth of oil, but it lasted twelve days ish, or soemthing like that. Anyone else have more knowledge?

Lou Gutman, P.I.- It's like I'm not even trying anymore!
http://theatomicdanger.iforumer.com/index....theatomicdanger

One billion b-balls dribbling simultaneously throughout the galaxy. One trillion b-balls being slam dunked through a hoop throughout the galaxy. I can feel every single b-ball that has ever existed at my fingertips. I can feel their collective knowledge channeling through my viens. Every jumpshot, every rebound and three-pointer, every layup, dunk, and free throw. I am there.

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Thank you Pixies. That was enlightening... in more ways than one.

 

Anyway, I agree with Sand and Cant. I am especially disturbed by people who would think, "Your kind killed Jesus so now I should beat you up," when Jesus spoke a message of impartial love and turning the other cheek, even crying out to God to forgive the people who killed him. Idiots.

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OOH! They're from different religions and they help each other! That totally shatters my vision of muslims and jews.

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What is hanuka anyway. Is that the deal where they ligth the candles, have a shindig, and sit around waiting for the second comming of the lord ?

 

From what I can gather from growing up watching Rugrats, it's to like, celebrate and comemorate when there were some people in a temple with only a days worth of oil, but it lasted twelve days ish, or soemthing like that. Anyone else have more knowledge?

Why is it called "hanuka" in english? Anyway, what I kind of remember about what I call "Chanukka" ("Ch" being the velar fricative) is that it contains several rememberance days for the rebuilding of the second temple (?), and that what you said about the oil. Families come together, eat traditional food, sing, exchange presents, and every day for the duration of the celebration (11 days?), another candle is lit.

All in all, Chanukka seems related to christmas in so far as it seems to be grounded in a celebration of light in the darkness, too, and the customs seem similar.

Citizen of a country with a racist, hypocritical majority

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Thank you Pixies. That was enlightening... in more ways than one.

 

Anyway, I agree with Sand and Cant. I am especially disturbed by people who would think, "Your kind killed Jesus so now I should beat you up," when Jesus spoke a message of impartial love and turning the other cheek, even crying out to God to forgive the people who killed him. Idiots.

 

I blame the decline in Sunday school attendance. If more people went to church they might know that.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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I blame the decline in Sunday school attendance. If more people went to church they might know that.

 

As a former Catholic who has spent many many hours in church I must disagree with that. Better off reading the bible.

 

Apostate! Burn the heretic! :ermm:

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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I think the majority of people just hear junk they think is in the Bible and never really read it themselves. Then they end up making false statements about what Christianity is supposed to be. I understand that Christians do a terrible job living up to what they are supposed to be, but that doesn't mean the Bible is flawed, just the people. So when people think it's okay to beat someone up because they don't celebrate Christ, I find something terribly wrong with their knowledge of who Christ is.

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"who christ is"* --> "how a christian is supposed to be nowadays" In your case, I assume, that would mean charitable, helpful etc.

The problem with the bible is that it's very open to interpretation. Which I would generally consider to be good, but in case of a religion, it just makes everything justifiable. Pick something here, take something from there, et voil

Edited by samm

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