Skip to comments.India town buries U.S. Muslim soldier slain in Iraq
Posted on 09/04/2005 8:24:37 AM PDT by Valin
AHMEDABAD, India, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Hundreds of grieving Indian Muslims on Sunday attended the funeral of an Indian-born U.S. soldier killed in a rocket attack in Iraq last month. The body of 23-year-old Hatim Kathiria was flown to Dahod in the western state of Gujarat on Sunday, accompanied by U.S. officials and his wife, Lissy Jean-Pierre. "He was my only son. His ambitions took him to the U.S. and then to Iraq. We lost him, but he died a martyr's death," said a grief-stricken Shirin, Kathiria's mother. More than 2,000 people thronged the streets of the Muslim-dominated town, some 90 km (56 miles) south of the state capital, Gandhinagar, shouting "long live the Indian martyr" and showering flower petals on the wooden coffin.
Kathiria, who went to the United States in 2003, joined the U.S. Army the following year, with the hope that a stint in the armed forces would help fund a college scholarship. "His services have been recognised by the U.S. armed forces and the family will be provided support," said Michael Owen, the U.S. Consul General in Mumbai, who attended the funeral.
Kathiria is the second Indian-born soldier killed in Iraq after Sergeant Uday Singh from the northern state of Punjab died last December when his patrol was attacked by insurgents in Baghdad. Kathiria, who had an Indian degree in computer engineering, ran a computer system that kept track of U.S. army supplies and parts in Baghdad.
Nearly 1,900 U.S. troops have died in Iraq, many of them in attacks by Islamic insurgents opposed to U.S. policies. "He was a true Indian who fought against terrorism," said Rehman Faiz, a local Muslim priest in Dahod.
Muslims make up around 13 percent of Hindu-majority India's one-billion-plus population and protests by them against the U.S. presence in Iraq have been more muted than in Muslim countries. India did not support the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, but there are an estimated 450 Indians in the U.S. armed forces. Their numbers are climbing as military service is seen as a short-cut to college scholarships as well as U.S. citizenship.
A muslim who knows what a true martyr is, good for his mother.
This is a fascinating subject - I had no idea.
Note to Cindy Sheehan.
St. Cindy is in a high level meeting right now otherwise she'd set Shirin, Kathiria's mother straight that her son died for oil.
You must remember this was an educated Muslim, and most importantly, from India. That makes a h@ck of a lot of difference. Not one direct Al Qaeda operative from amongst 120 million muslims from India.
Not one direct Al Qaeda operative from amongst 120 million muslims from India.
True and deserves to be repeated...often.
Begs the question, why? Could it be that Muslims in India aren't really Mulim (as some here contend) OR could it be that the vast majority of the worlds Muslims don't support the goals and methods of Al Qaeda ?
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