What we’re used to hearing, is the bad news. You know, that often-repeated story about some moral monster strapping a bomb to his chest, finding a crowd of unsuspecting people (generally women or children) and ending his life so that he can be hailed as a hero by some degenerate scumbags who don’t value human life.
We came very close to telling that story again.
Some degenerate scumbag DID strap a bomb to his chest. He did target a crowd of civilians — in this case, schoolkids. He did set out to immortalize his name by sacrificing himself for “the cause”.
But this story has a twist.
A young man — at seventeen, you’d hardly call him a man, but he certainly conducted himself as one — noticed said anonymous bomb-toting coward. Not only did he see him, but he did something singularly courageous. He intervened.
Where the bomber saw his life as a small price to pay in the murder of a crowd of civilians, our story’s hero, Aitzaz Hasan (let’s all remember that name!) thought his life a small price to pay in the SAVING of a crowd of civilian children.
Hasan chased the attacker, before the detonation. He put himself in harm’s way. Not only was he openly a critic of the militants, but he gave his life in fighting to stop them.
“Aitzaz Hasan used to tell all that one day he would capture some suicide bomber, and his class fellows used to laugh,” he said. “But this boy proved what he said, and I am sad that he left us too early.”
This young man is being rightly hailed as a hero.
In the face of such unremitting violence the image of a teenager giving his life to save his classmates captured the imagination of many in Pakistan.
Hasan’s death led to an outpouring of emotion on television and on social media, where the hashtag #onemillionaitzazs quickly became a favorite among Twitter users.
This is exactly the sort of story we need to tell: stories that show the courage of people standing up to the militants. People who love children, and refuse to sacrifice them as cannon-fodder.
Let men such as Aitzaz be hailed as heroes, and the name of his killer be forgotten as the ignoble scum they always were.
Examples of courage and strength such as his are exactly what this weary world needs today.
Source article: cbc.ca