Christchurch shooting survivor’s message to gunman: I forgive you

A wheelchair-bound man whose wife was shot dead in the New Zealand mosque attacks has forgiven the gunman.

Farid Ahmed was one of the people to attend Friday prayers at the Al Noor mosque before an armed man stormed in and opened fire.
Mr Ahmed, who uses a wheelchair after being left paralysed in a road traffic accident six years ago, was able to escape but his wife Husna was killed in the attack, which claimed two lives at mosques in the city of Christchurch last Friday.
The senior member of the mosque said he saw “so many bodies” and a father carrying his own son out of the building, but said he had forgiven the attacker.

He told the New Zealand Herald: “I was asked 'how do you feel about the person who killed your wife?' and I said 'I love that person because he is a human, a brother of mine," he said.
"But maybe he was hurt, maybe something happened to him in his life … but the bottom line is, he is a brother of mine.

"I have forgiven him and I am sure if my wife was alive she would have done the same thing.
"I hold no grudge."
Police stand guard in Christchurch, as their Australian counterparts executed two search warrants relating to the investigation into the mosque attacks (Edgar Su/Reuters)
Mr Ahmed said people were begging him for help in the aftermath of the shooting.
He added: "I saw a man screaming 'please help me' and I saw he had two dead bodies lying on top of him - he asked me to remove the dead bodies and said 'I can't take it'."
The father was in another room when a gunman came in, but said he recalled hearing the sound of gunfire and screams from those inside.
His daughter, Shifa, 15, was at school during the attack but had managed to find out her mother was missing but her father was safe.
He said he told her the news of her mother when she returned from school, which had to put on lockdown.
He said: “When she got home I had to tell her. The worst part was when she said - are you telling me I don't have any mother?

"I said yes... But I'm your mother now... and together we will face this.
Students light candles as they gather for a vigil to commemorate victims of the shooting (AP)
"I then had to advise my family, I decided to be strong and not break down because if I did, they would.

New Zealand’s Cabinet has backed sweeping changes to gun laws three days after 50 people were shot down at the two mosques.
The government is expected to make a public demonstration of their destruction and ban semi-automatic ‘assault-style’ weapons.
Police have also confirmed they believe "absolutely" that only one perpetrator was responsible for the attacks during Friday prayers.
Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian, has been charged with murder and appeared at court on Saturday. He was remanded until April 5.


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