He could recite the ‘Quran’ and his name was Islamic — these were reasons enough for terrorists to allow Faraaz Hossain to leave the restaurant in Dhaka where they held other hostages. He was “allowed” to leave — escape and live — while his friends remained there to die at the hands of these gunmen.
20-year old Faraaz Hosseini was in Bangladesh for his summer break. A Fall 2015 graduate of Oxford College of Emory University and a student at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School in Atlanta, Faraaz had decided to hang out with his friends Tarishi, Abinta and Miraaj at the Holey Artisan restaurant.
While three of them reached the restaurant on time, Miraaj was late. By the time Miraaj reached the place, the terrorists had already taken over. Shouting “Allah-O-Akbar”, the terrorists barged into the restaurant asking everyone to recite the ‘Quran’. Those who couldn’t, were mercilessly shot down.
Faraaz, a muslim by heart and religion, recited the verses easily and hence was given the license to flee. However, Tarishi Jain, an Indian, and Abinta Kabir, a Muslim US citizen, couldn’t. In the end, Faraaz died with his friends.
But Faraaz still did not flee, he chose to stay back with his friends.
“From what I have gathered, my brother was allowed to leave. But he had gone there with his friends and didn’t want to leave them behind. So he had asked ‘what about them?’ When he was told that they couldn’t leave, he decided to stay back. Muslims are not supposed to believe in violence. He was a true Muslim which is why he stayed back and proved to be one,” his brother Zaraif said.
One thing is for sure, terrorism is not ingrained in Islam. Faraaz’s brother confessed how their mother had raised them to respect and protect women and so Faraaz followed the same by staying back for Tarishi and Abinta.
It’s strange how one religion in one place can have two contrasting repercussions with such different school of thoughts. Faraaz was just ‘being Muslim’ while staying till the very last moment with his friends who were killed by men ‘fighting for Islam’. Irony.
In Zaraif’s words, Faraaz was indeed “destined for greatness”.