By Fatima Abdi
The story of Aitazaz Hassan Bangash has been covered by news channels and has sparked interest on several social media outlets. And why wouldn’t it? It is the bravery and courage of this fifteen-year-old Muslim boy in Pakistan that enlightened the hearts of Muslims and non-Muslims alike around the world. In the village of Hangu in northern Pakistan, Aitazaz Hassan arrived late to school. Before entering, he encountered a man trying to gain access into the building. Noticing the man was wearing a suicide vest, Aitazaz himself tackled the suicide bomber, saving the lives of innocent students.
On Facebook and Twitter, Aitazaz Hassan is hailed as a martyr and a hero. He is remembered as a child of fifteen years who displayed an exquisite amount of courage and heroism, dying to save his fellow pupils in his Shia populated school. However, individuals praising his actions are failing to remember the reason why his actions of valor were necessary. The world while honoring his heroic deed is forgetting the reality behind the situation in Pakistan. The once blooming country is now a death trap for Shia Muslims. With this constant persecution of individuals of the Shia faith, genocide has commenced in the Shia populated areas of Pakistan. As society praises Aitazaz’s martyrdom, it fails to value the necessity of his heroic actions. Why should a fifteen-year-old child have to sacrifice his life? Do we fail to notice that a young boy should not have to take actions as such on a day in which he was headed to school to learn?
His valiant actions have a deeper meaning behind them that most of us on social media have failed to understand. This tragic situation led to his demise, upon which his father remarks, ““My son made his mother cry, but saved hundreds of mothers from crying for their children.” This daring persona has sparked a candle in the heart of Pakistan. At such a young age, he represented the flame of hope in a country that is gradually erupting in flames. The lesson we should all take from Aitazaz Hassan is his valor. Let us not forget that he died to save the students in his school. Let us remember that he was a target because of his faith. Let us take action against this genocide.