"He Is A Brother Of Mine": Disabled Man Forgives Christchurch Gunman Who Killed His Wife
“I have forgiven him and I am sure if my wife was alive she would have done the same thing.” These are the words of Farid Ahmed, a survivor of the New Zealand mosque shooting which took place on March 15.
Farid and his wife were present on the fateful day at one of the two mosques which were attacked by a gunman who fired indiscriminately at worshippers.
While Farid, a wheelchair-bound man survived the incident, Hunsa, his wife was not as lucky. However, Hunsa lost her life, not before she led several women and children out of the mosque to safety.
“A brother of mine”
44-year-old Hunsa reportedly alerted the worshippers and led them outside a side-door as the shooter sprayed the lobby with bullets, as reported by Daily Mail. Hunsa, after leading as many people as she could to safety, returned to her wheelchair-bound husband. However, she was shot dead as soon as she entered.
Until then, Farid had already made it outside to the parking lot where he hid behind his vehicle. He was witness to scores of worshippers falling out of smashed windows or jump frantically over a fence. After the gunman left, Farid wheeled inside the mosque and helped anyone he could.
Farid said that although he doesn’t support what the shooter did, he said that he holds no grudge. “Maybe he was hurt, maybe something happened to him in his life…but the bottom line is, he is a brother of mine,” he later said. He also said that if given an opportunity, he would hug the gunman and he wishes that the gunman reflect on his actions and change his life. “If I can change one person from cruelty to generosity, I’ll be honoured,” he said.
Shooting at two mosques
Shootings at two mosques took lives of 50 people and injured over 20 people on March 15. PM Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand described the shootings as a terrorist attack, “It is clear that this it is one of New Zealand’s darkest days,” she said. Of 50 killed, at least five were Indians, confirmed India’s High Commission on March 17. The mosque situated in New Zealand’s Christchurch city, where shootings took place, was full of worshipers.