December 12, 2007 — A Brooklyn man whose “Happy Hanukkah” greeting landed him in the hospital said he was saved from a gang of Jew-bashing goons aboard a packed Q train by a total stranger – a modest Muslim from Bangladesh.
Not an Arab, so not really pertinent to this blog, but I was looking for good news about Muslims in America.
“A random Muslim guy jumped in and helped a Jewish guy on Hanukkah – that’s a miracle,” said Adler, an honors student at Hunter College.
“He’s basically a hero. Hassan jumped in to help us.”
But Askari, who is studying to be an accountant, shrugged off the praise.
“I just did what I had to do,” he recalled. “My parents raised me that way.”
It all began when Adler, his girlfriend, Maria Parsheva, and two other pals boarded the subway at Canal Street bound for Brooklyn and someone in another group wished them “Merry Christmas.”
Adler and his pal Angelica Krischanovich responded: “Happy Hanukkah.”
Apparently, those were fighting words.
“They just came at us so fast. The first thing that came into my mind was, ‘Yeah, this is going to be violent,’ ” said Parsheva, 20.
One of the group immediately hiked up his sleeve to reveal a tattoo of Christ.
“He said, ‘Happy Hanukkah, that’s when the Jews killed Jesus,’ ” said Adler.
“Hanukkah is when the Jews killed Jesus.” I love it. Is this what our young people are learning in jails these days?
One of the arrestees was previously arrested for a hate crime:
Joseph Jirovec, 19 – the son of a city firefighter who is currently serving in Iraq – has pleaded guilty to a 2005 bias crime against blacks.
But here’s good news:
“I’m trying to stay out of trouble,” he said. “When I get out, I want to go into the military.”
Oh, fantastic. This guy turned loose in Iraq or Afghanistan seems like a really bad idea.
By the way, congratulate me for not titling this post “Muslim Saves Jews’ Bacon.” You’re welcome.