Why It’s So Important To Remember Heroes That Happen To Be Muslim

These are two of the three teens that stood up to Anders Breivik. The third gave his life. They went on to save 23 people that day. Few news outlets reported it. The three teens were Muslim.

July 22nd marks the anniversary of the Norway attacks carried out by Anders Breivik. Few news outlets reported it, even fewer have recognised the heroes of that day.

Movsar Zyamaev and Rustam Daudov originally from Chechnya, survived the attack. Rusam was 16 and Movsar 17 at the time.

Anders Breivik, a Norwegian radical Right-wing Christian. killed 77 people and wounded 319. Most of his victims were Christians from the political left. Many of them were teenagers.

The only people who stood up to him were 3 Muslim teenagers who began throwing stones at him. One hit Breivik hard in the head and he finally shot and killed one of the three. The other two, Movsar Zyamaev and Rustam Daudov, fled and went on to save 23 people during the massacre.  When Movsar called his father from his cell phone, his father urged him to be brave, stay and to try and save as many people as he could.

Anders Breivik turned himself in and eventually pleaded insanity but was convicted on terrorism charges and sentenced to 21 years in prison. Even though he was convicted for terrorism, he is mostly referred to in the media as a “Mass Killer” or “Mass Murderer”. Rarely is he labelled a “terrorist”.

It’s so important to celebrate our heroes, especially those who are Muslims to balance the scale of bad press they get for the crimes committed by a few. The argument that their faith does not matter does not work here because it matters when terrorism occurs. Why not when heroism occurs?

The example of Movsar and Rusam, these young, incredibly brave heroes should be a thing celebrated not hushed in to the dark corners of forgotten heroism because their faith doesn’t fit a particular narrative that is lucrative to the media.

The more people that celebrate heroes like these, the more those negative narratives are drowned out to create a platform that simply sees a persons humanity and treats all stories fairly. It is only then that we can see the heroism of people free from labels.

Related articles: Anders Breivik loses human rights case against Norway

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