Bohra soldier killed in Iraq

The Dawoodi Bohra muslim community lost one of its own in Iraq last week. Hatim Kathiriya of Fort Worth, Texas was killed in a rocket attack in Baghdad. The official DoD announcement reports that he was a logistical specialist assigned to the 703rd Forward Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, GA.

InnaLillahi Wa inna Ilahi Raji'un

Hatim was born in Gujrat, and came to the US seeking a better life for himself, as do so many members of the Bohra community. The report in the Dallas Morning News has some detail about his surviving family:

Spc. Kathiria is survived by his father, Siraj Kathiria; mother, Shirin Kathiria; and two sisters, Kahdija Kathiria and Habiba Kathiria, all of Dahod, India.

Spc. Kathiria was born July 1, 1982, in Dahod in the Indian state of Gujarat.

Spc. Kathiria's uncle, Nuruddin Kathiria of Fort Worth, said that Spc. Kathiria was a bright, energetic and ambitious young man who came to the United States in June 2003 determined to enter service in the U.S. military.

Spc. Kathiria enlisted in the Army in November 2003. He obtained his U.S. citizenship in January 2004. Mr. Kathiria said Spc. Kathiria was in the process of obtaining a military secrecy clearance.

Mr. Kathiria said his nephew had a bachelor's degree in computer science and wanted to pursue a master's degree.

"It looked like a good future for him. He was progressing pretty fast, but it ended pretty fast," Mr. Kathiria said. "That's what shocked us."

I am in the process of trying to reach Nuruddin bhai in the Dallas jamaat to get some more information about Hatimbhai.

There is also a piece in the Times of India that goes into more detail about Hatim's ambitions. He was still an Indian citizen, who joined the Army in the hope that he could fund his studies and pursue the American dream. I know of only a few other Bohras serving in the armed forces, but Hatim bhai exemplified the spirit of my community.

Hatim also shares the distinction with Sergeant Uday Singh, a Sikh, of being one of two Indian nationals to have been killed in active duty in the US Armed Forces. Sergeant Singh was cremated with full military honors in his native Punjab and the ashes interred in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington DC.


A. Moosa said...

It is very depressing to learn of a Mumin's death in a such a violent manner. May god give strenght to his family and loved ones.
I have hardly known any mumineen in the armed forces. Proffessions which involve a risk to ones life are usually not encouraged in the Bohra community. Just the other day I was explaining to a friend of mine that my religion expects me to be patriotic to the country I live in. He asked me whether it is then permissable for a Bohra soldier from one country to kill a Bohra soldier from another on an event of a war. Frankly I didnt know how to answer that one. I did tell him though that military service is not encouraged wihtin our community.

Anonymous said...

Whilst I share the grief of those bereaved by Hatim's death, I am sorry to say I have no sympathies for anyone volunteering to 'fight' in wars as either mercenaries or through motives that are suspect. Firstly, Hatim retained his Indian Nationality, thus putting him at 'odds' with the 'policy' of his own citizenship. His newly 'adopted' country provides many avenues for service to country and god, but he chose to engage in military service for a cause that is very difficult to justify. The US is in IRAQ on the basis of a false prospectus and a president who has repeatedly shown very little respect for the American Constitution when it comes to the rights of AMERICAN citizens to freedom of belief, life liberty and happiness. US Presdient BUSH is on a personal campaign and has to some degree 'hijacked' the political machinery to pursue personal beliefs about 'arabs', Moslems and their god given right to life, liberty and happiness. The repeated 'killings' in IRAQ have precedents in the past , for example, PUTIN and the Litvinenko affair that has roots in the 'blowing' up of apartments tenements in Moscow by the Russian SECRET STATE to obtain public support for their military murders in Chechnya and Afghanistan, Jewish 'plots' to 'bomb' civilians in Cairo and AMMAN at the time of the Anthony Eden [1956-] crises for Britain , the secrte pact with France and Israel to start a war with Egypt and ferment civil unrest as an excuse to deploy troops there and more. Hatim is a victim, I am sorry to say, of bad judgement on his part, a 'partisan' media that has 'glorified' an evil for profits [war is news that sells newspapers and if sold on behalf of entrenched governments, provides rewards in the way of honours leading to more money] and a disorganised and weak anti-war lobby conscious of their 'lack' of funds to fund their 'point-of-view'. I am again very sorry for the loss of life of Hatim and the loss to his family, but regretfully have to pijnt out that he had many choices and probably made the wrong choice.

Anonymous said...

Reading a.moosa comments. I must say the following > Military service in the defence of one's own life [self defence], to defend one's family and loved one's, to defend cherished freedoms, such as the right to hold personal beliefs and enter into contract with other humans on the basis of consent and agreement, with capacity and authority to hold such positions, is a laudable and 'proud' tradition. George Bush's authority to enter Iraq is suspect, let alone 'kill' anyone there. To then 'frement' civil unrest inside Iraq as a politically 'clever' move is nothing short of sheer madness. We do NOT live in an unconnected world or the middle ages, where one can conjure up falsehoods on paper and by publishing them, turn myth into reality over the course of time. The gratuitous murders by American and British armed personnel and their 'secret' services in order to seek 'public' sympathy for their cause in Iraq is a truth that will come out sooner rather than later. There is NOTHING clever about the war in IRAQ except to make the point that the Bush-Blair killing machine is 'killing' because it CAN. So what is new about that ?