A Muslim medical student recently presented me with an excellent book that I encourage all Muslims, not just health professionals, to read: The Oath: A Surgeon Under Fire by Khassan Baiev (Pocket Books, 2004 ISBN 0743430360). Khassan Baiev is a Chechen who having faced great racial and religious discrimination, trained to become a successful plastic surgeon in Moscow. The horrors inflicted by Russia in their assault on Chechnya and the rising casualty toll led Dr Baiev to return to his homeland, where he provided medical attention to Chechen fighters, Russian prisoners and civilians, without prejudice. It is evident from this work that his inspiration for this was his faith.
|`The Oath: A Surgeon Under Fire gives a history of Russia's Chechen policy and it narrates the heroic struggle of an overwhelmed Muslim doctor refusing to abandon his Islamic values in the face of appalling brutality, corruption and violence.'
'The Oath:A Surgeon Under Fire' gives a history of Russia's Chechen policy and it narrates the heroic struggle of an overwhelmed Muslim doctor refusing to abandon his Islamic values in the face of appalling brutality, corruption and violence. Dr Baiev paints a balanced picture.
He is critical of Chechen leaders as well as the Russians, but takes time to point out the humanity of individuals whom others have demonised as enemies. He has paid for his humanity by being forced, by Chechen warlords and the Russian Government alike, to take refuge in the United States.
I was not aware of the deportation of Chechens in 1944 by Stalin, despite their loyal service against the Nazis. I was also unaware of the very long-standing racism against Chechens in all spheres of public life such as employment and education. To be honest, I never really knew anything about Chechen culture. Finally, I was ignorant of the continued atrocities perpetrated, with the West's full knowledge, against the civilian population in Chechnya.
If you wish to learn the truth about Russia's brutal treatment of Chechens; or if you are a health professional seeking inspiration for your work; or if you want to hear an extraordinary story about Muslims struggling against the odds: this is a must read.