On July 2, 2016 a terrorist attack took place at the Holey Artisan Bakery, a popular restaurant for Bangladeshis and foreigners in Dhaka.
Twenty people were brutally murdered after a 12-hour standoff, thirteen hostages were rescued, two policemen were killed and many others injured.
Details of what actually transpired are still being discovered. The New York Times has reported that the Islamic State has taken credit for the attack and purposefully targeted foreigners. We know that the hostages were told to recite the Quran in order to be spared. We also know that the profile of the attackers had changed from the usual stereotype to privileged educated men.
One story we have not heard enough about yet is the story of a young Muslim man who sacrificed himself to try and protect his two friends.
Faraaz Hossain, Tarishi Jain and Abinta Kabir were hiding in a toilet stall as the terrorists entered the Holey Artisan Bakery. The three of them had been friends for years, having studied together at a prestigious school in Dhaka. Hossain was Bangladeshi, Kabir was American, and Jain was Indian. Sometime during the 12 hours that the attack lasted, the three friends were discovered. Faraaz Hossain was told he could leave as he was a Muslim. He refused to leave since he did not want to abandon his friends. Reports say when his body was found you could tell an intense struggle had taken place.
Hossain’s display of courage affected me deeply. I doubt I could have done what he did. With so many articles strictly focusing on the danger of terrorism—and politicians and pundits using this to build a case for xenophobia, profiling and outright hate—I encourage readers to share this story.