A senior Muslim leader at the Deans Ave Mosque who lost his wife in the terror attack says he has forgiven the shooter.
Farid Ahmed, ethnically from Bangladesh, says the extraordinary gesture to the man who killed so many of his friends is what his wife would have wanted.
The widower was first interviewed at the cordon on Friday shortly after the shooting broke out. At the time, he hadn’t heard from his wife, and since then he’s received terrible news.
Husna Ahmed ran classes for children at the mosque, while her husband gave sermons.
“She was probably more open than me; she could reach anyone, she was magnetic,” Farid Ahmed told Newshub.
On Friday, their peaceful life came shattering down as a shooter tore through the mosque where they had served for 20 years.
“What she did when the shooting started, she organised the ladies and children to go out, she was leading them,” Ahmed says.
The pair were in separate rooms, and Farid Ahmed – who uses a wheelchair – couldn’t flee.
“I thought I was not going to come out, and I was prepared to die. That’s why in the moment I just thought, ‘No point in panicking, I’d better be calm and ready’.”
Husna got the women and children together and led them to safety before going back to rescue her husband of 25 years.
“Then when they were in a safe place, she was coming back for me – and that is the time when she was coming towards the gate, that is the time,” her husband says.
“At this stage, I don’t know where my wife is, she was in the ladies room,” he said.
Then he got the worst news he could imagine. She had lost her life trying to save him.
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On Sunday night, people have been paying their respects, remembering a woman renowned for kindness of her own – and despite the terrible act of hatred, Farid Ahmed has found a way to forgive the shooter.
“I love him to be honest,” he says.
“I think probably he went through some trauma in his life, probably he wasn’t loved… I don’t hate him at all, I don’t hate him at all, not at all.”
Forgiveness is what Farid says is what his wife Husna would have wanted.
“She’s brave, and she gave her life saving others,” he says.
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And despite his awful ordeal, he’s has become a rock in his community.
After breaking the worst news possible to his own daughter, he has spent the afternoon stepping in for his brothers and sisters.
He’s been breaking in the bad news for other families who have lost loved ones, and taking on their emotional burden at the time of need.
His final message today was one we can all live by, no matter what we believe.
“If someone does bad to you, do good in return.”
This is from the verse of the Quran where Allah says:
Not equal are the good deed and the bad deed. Repel evil by that which is better, and then the one who is hostile to you will become as a devoted friend.
But none is granted it except those who are patient and none is granted it except one having a great fortune.