Closure For Family Of Christchurch Shooting Victim

Grandson says they will join NZ’s PM Jacinda Ardern at Lautoka mosque to remember death of 51 people, including 3 Fijians, in Christchurch terror attack
26 Feb 2020 09:41
Closure For Family Of Christchurch Shooting Victim
Ashraf Ali, 59, who was among the 49 people killed at the Christchurch terror attack.

The family of the late Ashraf Ali Razat will travel to the Lautoka Jame Masjid Mosque to join New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and remember the victims of the Christchurch mosque massacre.

In one of her final engagements, before she heads to Sydney tomorrow, Ms Ardern will attend the event almost one year of the tragedy, which killed 51 people and injured many, including three Fijians killed. The late Mr Ashraf Ali Razat was one of the victims.

Speaking at his home in Omkar, Narere, the late Ashraf’s grandson, Mohammed Iftikar Ali, said Ms Ardern’s presence will give them a ‘sense of closure’.

“We are so grateful that the New Zealand Prime Minister has thought of us, the grieving families of those that were lost in the shooting incident.

“My late grandfather was always a big fan of New Zealand in the sporting arena and to be notified that the New Zealand Prime Minister was going to be in the country to pay her respects to the shooting victims, I know he would be smiling down on us,” he said.

“We will be leaving early Thursday morning for Lautoka to join other families of those lost in the shooting incident.”

Mr Ali said his grandfather was a father figure to him and he had lived with him and his family at their family home in Omkar, Narere.

“He was a man of principle, one who has taught me so much in life and I miss him dearly every day,” he said.

“He taught me the meaning of life and was by my side every step of the way.

“I did not know that he would not return when he had left for New Zealand as I was yet to learn so from him but I am grateful that he lived his life well on earth.”

Mohammed Iftikar Ali with a portrait of his grandfather, the late Ashraf Ali Razat. Photo: Inoke Rabonu

Mohammed Iftikar Ali with a portrait of his grandfather, the late Ashraf Ali Razat.
Photo: Inoke Rabonu

Lautoka Jame Masjid Preparations

Meanwhile, preparations are underway for the unveiling of a plaque in honour of the Fijian victims, Imam Hafiz Musa Patel, Ashraf Ali Razat and Ashraf Ali. Ms Arden will unveil the plaque.

The three were killed after an armed gunman opened fire on Muslims attending prayers in Christchurch early last year killing 51 people.

Fiji Muslim League President Hafizud Dean Khan said seating would be limited for the event.

“It’s only for the family travelling from overseas and here that are coming.”

Mr Khan added that the impact of the tragedy affected not only the Muslim community but the nation as a whole.

“It’s not confined to us as Muslims it’s a respect to people of Fiji which I think is a noble gesture,” he said.

“It’s not just important to the Muslim community but it is important to the whole of Fiji. It’s significant in fact because we are paying respects to our fallen people and unfortunately it so happens they were Muslims and they were victims of a tragedy in Christchurch.”

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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