SUNDAY TIMES WEB DESK: An Australian white supremacist gunned down 50 Muslim worshippers at two mosques in the southern city of Christchurch last Friday in a killing spree that he live-streamed and which has sparked global revulsion.
Hundreds of mostly Muslim mourners gathered Wednesday morning at a cemetery not far from Linwood Mosque, the second of the two places of worship targeted.
There they prayed and laid to rest Khalid Mustafa and his 15-year-old son Hamza, their names broadcast over a loudspeaker.
The family arrived last year as refugees from the Syrian maelstrom only to find tragedy in a land where they had sought sanctuary.
Khalid, 44, and Hamza were shot dead at the Al Noor Mosque, the first attack site. Khalid leaves behind a wife, daughter and son Zaid, 13, who was wounded in the shootings but survived.
In a powerful scene, Zaid sat in a wheelchair, his hands held aloft as he prayed alongside rows of mourners.
Jamil El-Biza, who came from the Sydney area to attend the funerals, told media that Zaid said at the graves of his brother and father: “I shouldn’t be standing in front of you. I should be lying beside you.”
Also attending was Abdul Aziz, an Afghan refugee who confronted the gunman at Linwood Mosque. He was embraced by many mourners.
Alabi Lateef, who also confronted the shooter at Linwood Mosque, told media he and others helped prepare the Mustafas for burial according to Islamic tradition.