Global Opportunities Beyond the Radar

Who’s a True American? Tragedy and Hope After 9/11


This is the story of two men.

Two vastly different backgrounds.

Two vastly different ambitions.

Here’s how they found themselves on a collision course with destiny.


Source: D Magazine


The first man was Raisuddin Bhuiyan:


Source: World Without Hate


Meanwhile, the second man was Mark Stroman:


Source: Los Angeles Times


That’s when 9/11 happened. This was a seismic event. A total event. And overnight, the American security landscape was transformed forever. The nation found itself plunged into the War on Terror:

By the end of this bloody rampage, two people were dead. Bhuiyan would be the only survivor:

Meanwhile, Stroman regarded himself as an American patriot who had struck a blow against radical Islam:

But here’s where our story takes a surprising turn:

In Bhuiyan’s words:

‘Instead of hating him, I saw him as a human being like me, not just a killer. I saw him as a victim, too, and I deeply felt by executing him we would simply lose a human life without dealing with the root cause.’


Source: Amazon


Bhuiyan’s journey is documented, in moving detail, in the book, The True American:

There was nothing more that could be done. So, in the end, Bhuiyan had a final phone call with Stroman:

‘I told him, “Mark, I never hated you and I forgave you.” He said, “Rais, I never expected this from you. I love you, bro.” As soon as he told me that, it just brought tears like a flood in my eyes.’

Stroman was executed on July 20, 2011. His last words were recorded. They were of profound regret:

‘One second of hate will cause a lifetime of pain.’

Later, Bhuiyan would reflect upon his journey with Stroman. His sadness was clear:

‘We tried so hard to keep a human being alive. It took a few seconds to kill this human being but what did we achieve? Nothing.’

Yes, this is the story of two men:

But this is also a story about the fabric of America:

So, today, Raisuddin Bhuiyan leads his own non-profit organisation called World Without Hate:

Ultimately, Bhuiyan treats his experience as a blessing, not a curse:

‘If we decide to get beyond hate, we can do it. Americans are capable of extraordinary compassion and grace when they open their hearts.’



John Ling

Analyst, Wealth Morning

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