“I’m convinced that empathy is more powerful than hate and that our lives should be dedicated to making it go viral.”
From a very early age, Zak’s father tried to instill in him the moral guidance that Islam teaches and focused on the major tenets of Islam ?fasting, charity, prayers and piety. He was a loving man with a great sense of humor and Zak looked up to him as a role model.
When Zak was seven his father started to become more dogmatic in his views and he began spending more time at a mosque in New Jersey. Then things drastically changed. El-Sayed Nosair took Zak to Calverton shooting range for the first time, to shoot automatic rifles.
In 1990, Zak’s father shot and killed the leader of the Jewish Defense League, Rabbi Meir Kahane. El-Sayed Nosair’s legal defense was partially funded by Osama bin Laden. In 1993, six people were killed in the World Trade Center bombing. Zak’s father was found to have helped plan the attack. Because of death threats made against Zak’s family, they moved from city to city, hiding their identity.
Eventually, Zak’s mother and father divorced. Currently, Zak is a promoting and lecturing on non-violence.
Participation in CDI:
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