The American Criminal Justice Association hosted Zak Ebrahim at Bucknall Theater on Feb. 25 at 1:30 p.m. as a part of Tolerance Week.
Ebrahim is the son of El-Savvid Nosair, a Muslim man that assassinated Rabbi Meir Kahane of the Jewish Defense League in 1990, and helped bomb the World Trade Center in February of 1993.
Instead of following in his father’s footsteps, Ebrahim chose to live a life fighting for peace, not against it.
During his presentation, Ebrahim shared stories of his childhood, which involved visiting his father in jail, being bullied in school, and discovering the impact of hatred on people. All of these events, he said, helped him become who he is today.
After the 1993 bombing, Ebrahim’s mother cut off all connections with Nosair and he did not have contact with his father until several years later. During contact with his son, Nosair confesses that he regrets his actions, though Ebrahim is not sure about his sincerity. He eventually disconnected with his father due to it being emotionally draining and in questioning his father’s sincerity.
Ebrahim and his family have felt debt in his father’s actions, but no anger towards it. He finds it counterintuitive to love Nosair.
Ebrahim risks his life to put himself out in the open to tell his story in order to combat stereotypes. He is very opposed to terrorism and is terrified for the cause of the attack and the safety of the victims.
“You can’t give into fear,” Ebrahim said, on the topic of ISIS. “You can’t bomb people into democracy.”
In the middle of the question and answer session, Ebrahim was asked what the key is to being tolerant, or accepting of others. He said that tolerance is an everyday effort and everyone deals with it one way or another. We need to recognize it within ourselves, and make a conscious effort to fix a particular view.
Paul Raffile, vice president of the ACJA at UNH, says that Tolerance Week is for discussing important issues pertaining to accepting people of different cultures and races. This is the third annual Tolerance Week at UNH and the first event with a representative speaker.
Last year, TED Talks had the pleasure to host Ebrahim as a speaker.
Following the presentation was a book signing. Over 120 people attended the presentation, with a majority of them being Criminal Justice majors.Tweet