Saturday, November 4, 2017

The Muslim Immigrant Who Saved Hundreds of American Lives

But this isn't unique or even unusual. Until a year ago, America has always been exactly what Lady Liberty says: a beacon to the oppressed of the world. Immigrants to America have always been profoundly grateful for the freedom, the opportunity, the safety America provides.

And they won't let the terrorists hurt her.

An Egyptian Muslim just-arrived in the United States on a Diversity Visa—precisely the type that Donald Trump is trying to blame for the bike-path murders on Halloween in Lower Manhattan—in fact stopped a terrorist atrocity that would have been much, much worse in 1997 on the New York City subway.

(T)he young Egyptian, Abdel Rahman Mosabbah, from a small town on the Upper Nile near Luxor and the only member of his family with a university education, wanted to build a future in the United States. His was the classic immigrant dream: to put down roots and eventually to bring his wife and raise his family in a land of freedom and opportunity. He saw the terrorists as anything but heroes or martyrs. He saw them as a threat to him and to his new country that must be stopped. And had he not acted, the slaughter on the B Train would have been horrific.
The NYPD and FBI and probably the LIRR cops are much more aware than they once were. From 2002 onward, the NYPD searched and found already in its ranks among more than 30,000 sworn officers hundreds of people who spoke languages from the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, and Asia because many of them had been born abroad. The job of a policeman, since the days of Irish, German, and Italian immigration in the 19th century, has always been a coveted position for newly arrived residents and citizens of the United States.
But here’s the question we ought to be asking ourselves today as we look back on that morning when jihadis were stopped in Brooklyn: Would an Abdel Rahman Mosabbah dare go to the police today? Would he go out in the heat of a dark summer night to try desperately to warn the cops of an impending attack when all Muslims, all immigrants, are being treated as suspect? Would he do that when diversity visas—like his visa—are being attacked by the president of the United States as if they they were a terrorist laissez-passer, a virtual license to kill?
In fact, this Muslim Diversity Visa recipient saved the lives of scores of Americans he had never met. And if Americans want to remain safe, they would do well to embrace such people, not shun them, shame them, and put them under threat.

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