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Act of Valor
Pakistan’s schools are regularly targeted by terrorists. On the popular blog site Cheezburger.com, there is an article featured “Try Not to Tear up Just Reading the Headline to This Story of Heroism.” It features a video of a 14 year old Teen who died stopping a suicide bomber at his school in Pakistan.
Aitzaz Hasan, stopped a suicide bomber from entering his school and sacrificed his life to protect 450 of his fellow students. Hasan died in hospital after stopping the bomber, who blew himself up, at the gates of his school in the northwestern district of Hangu.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif recommended him for the highest civil award for bravery. If it wasn’t for Aitzaz Hasan’s act of valor and quick thinking, the results would have been catastrophic.
He was an average student from the remote town in North Western Pakistan, but he has now become a national hero. “He was an average student, but was a bold child,” his teacher said. Mujahid Ali Bangash is Aitzaz Hasan’s 55 year old father. His father, Bangash, reported according to Yahoo News, that he felt not sadness but pride at his son’s death.
His father also was reported saying that, “I am happy that my son has become a martyr by sacrificing his life for a noble cause.” This leads my natural curiosity to explore just what this “noble cause” is, that would leave a parents spirit enriched with jubilation at the martyrdom of their child.
The only clue I got was a picture. Not a framed one, mourning in the loss of a hero like many others I scrolled through, but a printed one, headlined with the taglines of a movement. These letters mean something to the people in this picture I discovered online, and they mean something to America as well.
The words printed on the poster say, “Pakistan Is Proud of You Aafia Movement.” Aafia Siddiqui is the woman who was tried and convicted in 2010 and sentenced to 86 years in prison. Throughout the trial, the Pakistani government supported Siddiqui, and her conviction resulted in some protests in Pakistan. The media has portrayed the case differently in each country.
Back in July 17, 2008 Aafia Siddiqui was arrested in the city of Ghazni, Iran. In a bag she was carrying, the police found that she had a number of documents written in Urdu and English describing the creation of explosives, chemical weapons, Ebola, dirty bombs, and radiological agents which discussed mortality rates of certain of the weapons, and handwritten notes referring to a “mass casualty attack” that listed various U.S. locations and landmarks including the Plum Island Animal Disease Center, the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the New York City subway system, according to her indictment. The Globe also mentioned one document about a ‘theoretical’ biological weapon that did not harm children. She also reportedly had documents detailing U.S. “military assets”, excerpts from The Anarchist’s Arsenal, a one-gigabyte digital media storage device that contained over 500 electronic documents including correspondence referring to attacks by “cells”, describing the U.S. as an enemy, and discussing recruitment of jihadists and training, maps of Ghazni and the provincial governor’s compounds and the mosques he prayed in, and photos of Pakistani military people. Other notes described various ways to attack enemies, including by destroying reconnaissance drones, using underwater bombs, and using gliders.
Aafia also had “numerous chemical substances in gel and liquid form that were sealed in bottles and glass jars”, according to the later complaint against her, and about two pounds of sodium cyanide, a highly toxic poison. The U.S. prosecutors later said that sodium cyanide is lethal even when ingested in small doses even less than five milligrams, and several of the other chemicals she had can be used in explosives. Abdul Ghani, Ghazni’s deputy police chief, said she later confessed that she intended to carry out a suicide attack against the provincial governor.
The Aafia Movement in Pakistan that this ninth grader’s picture now spearheads the campaign for and makes his family so very proud, that Aitzaz Hasan’s father said he would be proud for his second son to become a martyr as well, is vested in the plights of Aafia Siddiqui, the woman whom they have been presented with as being a freedom fighter and a pioneer but whom in reality is one of the people currently residing in Fort Worth, Texas with links to 9/11 and Al-Qaeda, according to The Guardian a senior Lieutenant of Osama Bin Laden. The bitter reality is that the word “hero” has different meanings in different cultures.
Image Credit: www.news.ca.msn.comAct of Valor by Jaan