Shining example: Prince Charles praises Christchurch survivor for forgiving attacker

CHRISTCHURCH: In an Easter message, Prince Charles honoured Farid Uddin Ahmed, one of the survivors of the Christchurch terror attacks, who he called a “shining example to us all”.

Published in Britain’s Telegraph newspaper, the Prince of Wales honoured those who died in the March 15 Christchurch mosque shooting – and one survivor in particular- wheelchair-bound Farid Ahmed.

“Last month we saw another remarkable example of forgiveness following the utterly appalling attack on Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand. Farid Ahmed, a senior leader of the mosque in Deans Avenue, publicly forgave the gunman who so cruelly murdered his wife, Husna, and 49 other members of the Muslim community there.”

He quoted the words Ahmed said of the attacker: “I don’t hate him at all, not at all … I love him because he is human, he is a brother of mine.”

“He is a shining example to us all,” Prince Charles wrote.

Prince Charles said while the punishment was necessary that brought offenders who commit such crimes to their senses, “very often it is not the punishment that brings them to their senses… but rather the extraordinary power of the forgiveness from those they have hurt”.

Prince Charles also urged people to look for the good in even the darkest situations.

“The Easter message, with its emphasis on the timeless and universal values of forgiveness and reconciliation, gives hope to us all whether we live by faith or not. It encourages us to look for and to celebrate those moments in our own lives and in our own communities when we see the light overcoming the darkness,” he said.

Bangladeshi origin Ahmed’s harrowing story was revealed just a few days after the Christchurch shooting in New Zealand when a lone Australian-born, self-avowed white nationalist shot at random; killing 50 people in total and injuring dozens.

His wife Husne Ara Parvin was killed as she rushed back into Al Noor mosque to rescue him during Friday’s shooting.