Children among 50 Muslims slaughtered in a far-right terror attack

29th Mar 2019
Children among 50 Muslims slaughtered in a far-right terror attack

Hamza Mustafa, 16, Mucaad Ibrahim, 3, Sayyad Milne, 14 and Muhammad Haziq Mohd-Tarmizi, 17 are among 50 Muslims killed by a far-right terrorist  (Photo: Facebook)

Nadine Osman

A 3-year-old, three schoolboys and several pensioners were among fifty Muslims slaughtered in a far-right terror attack on two mosques in New Zealand on March 15.

Fifty other people were injured (many of them in a critical condition) in the terrorist mass shootings at Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch, during Friday prayers. The horrific attacks which were live streamed on Facebook by the terrorist began at the Al Noor Mosque in the suburb of Riccarton at 1:40 pm and continued at the Linwood Islamic Centre at about 1:55 pm.

The terror attacks are the deadliest mass shooting in modern New Zealand history. The country’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, called the incident an “act of extreme and unprecedented violence” and said, “This is one of New Zealand’s darkest days”.

28-year-old Australian Brenton Harrison Tarrant, described in media reports as an alt-right affiliated white supremacist, was arrested and charged with murder. The attacks have been linked to a global increase of white supremacist and alt-right extremist activity observed since the mid-2010s.

Tarrant recorded his beliefs in a 73-page manifesto titled ‘The Great Replacement’, a reference to the Great Replacement and white genocide conspiracy theories. It expresses several anti-immigrant sentiments including hate speech against migrants, white supremacist rhetoric, and calls for all non-European immigrants in Europe whom he claims are “invading his land” to be removed. The author also describes himself as an ethno-nationalist.

The manifesto refers to US President, Donald Trump, as “a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose” but not as a “policymaker and leader.” He also mentions African American conservative Candace Owens as a major influence: “The person who has influenced me above all is Candace Owens.”

In the manifesto, he cites British fascist leader Oswald Mosley as one of his political idols and has called for the killing of the London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The terrorist suspect invoked the Battle of Tours, a defeat of a Muslim army in 732 and the Siege of Vienna in 1683. According to the manifesto, his aim was “to take revenge on the invaders for the hundreds of thousands of deaths caused by foreign invaders in European lands throughout history … the enslavement of millions of Europeans taken from their lands by the Islamic slavers and the thousands of European lives lost to terror attacks throughout European lands.”

The youngest victim of the terror attacks is 3-year-old Mucaad Ibrahim who was at the Al Noor mosque with his brother Abdi and father when the shooting started.

“My mum, she’s been struggling. Every time she sees other people crying, emotional, she just collapses,” said Abdi. Ahmed Osman, a close family friend, said of Mucad: “He’s been loved by the community here. It’s been tough days. It’s been really tough days.”

Fourteen-year-old Sayyad Milne was a keen footballer who was shot at Al Noor Mosque while attending Friday prayers, as he did every week. The Year 10 student at Cashmere High School had dreamed of being an international footballer one day. His father, John Milne, said, “I’ve lost my little boy, he’s just turned 14,” he said. “It’s so hard … to see him just gunned down by someone who didn’t care about anyone or anything.”

Fellow Cashmere high student Hamza Mustafa phoned his mother Salwa as the killer unleashed volleys of bullets during his murderous rampage. The 16-year-old was trying to flee the gunman with brother Zaid, 13, when he made the call. Salwa, whose husband Khaled, 44, was also among the 50 worshippers killed in the shootings, told of her son’s frantic plea. She said: “He said, ‘Mum, there’s someone come into the mosque and he’s shooting us.’ After that, I heard shooting and he screamed and after that, I didn’t hear him. I called, ‘Hamza, Hamza,’ and I can hear his little voice and after that it was quiet.”

17-year-old Muhammad Haziq Mohd Tarmizi was described by friends as, though a shy person, always willing to lend a hand.

Haziq the only Malaysian to die in the terror attack was really into technology, they said in tearful interviews, and was a huge Star Wars fan who would have been looking forward to Episode IX at the end of the year.

Former classmate Khairur Aiman Redzuan Hafiz Boon said he was “best buds” with Haziq, whom he described as being really shy, except when he was playing online games.

“He was my deskmate for three years before he moved to New Zealand. Even after he moved there, we still played games together often.

“Two days before the incident, as usual, we were playing games. The last sentence he said to me (before signing off) was ‘Bye Kerur, see you tomorrow’. But I didn’t hear from him after that,” he told the New Straits Times.

Seventy-one-year-old Haji-Daoud Nabi died as he tried to save the lives of fellow worshippers at Al Noor mosque. Nabi came to New Zealand from Afghanistan in 1977 and was a beloved community leader. His son, Yama al-Nabi, described how his father “jumped in the firing line to save somebody else’s life.”

Husna Ahmed, 44, escaped Al Noor Mosque when the shooting began, leading the women out. She went back in to look for her wheelchair-bound husband, Farid. She was shot at the gate. Farid survived. Her niece, Nusrat Alam said about her: “She thinks of other people first. She’s brave, and she gave her life-saving others.”

Renowned a cardiologist Dr Amjad Hamid lost his life Linwood Islamic Centre. The 57-year old had lived in Christchurch for 23 years after leaving Palestine. His death was confirmed by a relative, and by Rosemary Clements, Chief Executive of the Taranaki District Health Board. “When he returned to Hāwera Hospital, he often brought fresh baklava from a bakery in Christchurch for everyone,” Clements said. “He was well-liked for his kindness, compassion and sense of humour.”

New Zealand’s futsal team goalkeeper Atta Elayyan, 33, was also killed. “There is a huge hole in our hearts,” said teammate Josh Margetts.Elayyan, who is of Palestinian descent, was also a popular member of the Christchurch tech industry. He leaves behind his wife Farah and young daughter Ayahter Aya.

Full list of the victims of the Christchurch mosque terror attack
Abdelfattah Qasem, 60
Abdukadir Elmi, 70
Ahmed Gamal Eldin Mohamed Abdel Ghany, 68
Ali Elmadani, 65
Amjad Hamid, 57
Ansi Alibava, 25
Arifbhai Mohamedali Vora, 58
Ashraf Ali, 61
Ashraf El-Moursy Ragheb, 55
Atta Elayyan, 33
Dr Haroon Mahmood, 41
Dr Mojammel Hoq, 30
Farhaj Ahsan, 30
Ghulam Hussain, 67
Hamza Mustafa, 15
Hati Mohemmed Doud Nabi, 71
Husna Ahmed, 44
Husne Ara Parvin, 42
Hussein Al-Umari, 35
Hussein Moustafa
Junaid Ismail, 36
Junaid Mortara, 35
Karam Bibi, 55
Khaled Mustafa, 44
Lilik Abdul Hamid, 58
Linda Armstrong, 65
Maheboob Allarakha Khokhar, 65
Matiullah Safi, 55
Mohamad Moosid Mohamedhosen 54
Mohammed Kamal Kamel Darwish, 38
Mohammed Omar Faruk, 36,
Mohsen Mohammed Al Harbi, 63
Mounir Guirgis Soliman, 68
Mucaad Ibrahim, 3
Muhammad Abdus Samad, 66
Muhammad Haziq Mohd-Tarmizi, 17
Muhammad Suhail Shahid, 36
Musa Vali Suleman Patel, 60
Muse Nur Awale, 77
Naeem Rashid, 50
Osama Adnan Yousef Abukwaik, 37
Ozair Kadir, 24
Ramiz Arifbhai Vora, 28
Sayyad Milne, 14
Syed Areeb Ahmed, 26
Syed Jahandad Ali, 34
Talha Naeem, 21
Tariq Omar, 24
Zakaria Bhuiyan
Zeeshan Raza, 38

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