Tuesday, May 15, 2007


In the wake of the tragedy of the Virginia Tech shootings, a story of the death of one of the victims, Waleed Shaalan, popped up in The New York Times and was widely circulated in the major Arab and Muslim media outlets, namely that Waleed, like Librescu, died while trying to protect someone else.

I was suspicious of this story from the start. The only witness emphasized that his/her judgment was subjective and has remained anonymous by releasing the story through a compliant professor.

Rather than accuse rashly, I sought confirmation from the coroner's office, thinking that Waleed's autopsy results would at least confirm that he was shot twice, but several minutes apart. I received this note in response a few days ago:

OCME records are medical records pursuant to 2.1-342 (B) (3) of the Virginia Code and are not subject to disclosure. Records may be released to certain agents with proper authorizations (Virginia Code 32.1-127.1:02).

In other words, the autopsy results will remain the secret of investigators and Waleed Shaalan's family. There is no way to independently confirm this story.

When I posted my news and suspicions as a comment at altmuslim.com, I received an angry response:
You are a disgusting excuse for a human being, you ought to [be] ashamed of yourself for tarring the memory of this man...I don't have to be a genius or self-declared "engineering student" to see a pattern in your narrow minded thinking. Your extremist blog(with endorsement links to pro-terrorism blogs) is further evidence of your irrational mindset.

Yes, it does make me feel a bit slimy to point this out. But wouldn't not doing so be worse?
BTWFMBGNOF, why do you keep altering my carefully qualified statements into something different? There are Muslim teachers out there who worry that they may be teaching their students contempt for others. Do I direct them to your posts on this site? Then what are they supposed to do? Leave Islam and teach their students Judaism, Christianity, or secular humanism instead?

One may justly ask, why is it important to question the manner of Waleed's passing? Yet, if somebody is inventing his deeds and attributing them to G-d and Islam, is that not blasphemy? Would Waleed have wanted to be an object of such? And if you aren't making it your duty to uncover the truth, choosing to promote this tale blindly instead, do you not also blaspheme?

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