March 18, 2019 - 14:28 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Naeem Rashid, 50, a teacher and father of three who emigrated from Pakistan to New Zealand a decade ago, was busy this month planning the spring wedding of his son Talha, 21.
Neither father nor son lived to celebrate the occasion. Both were killed Friday, March 15, along with seven other Pakistanis, when a gunman struck at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing at least 50 people and wounding scores.
But since then, Rashid has become a national hero in his native country, after video footage of the shootings showed him trying to tackle the gunman outside one mosque before being shot.
“My brother was a brave man who died to save others. His death showed how he cared for humanity,” Rashid’s brother Khurshid Alam said in a telephone interview Sunday from his home in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Just a few days ago, he said, “we were talking to Naeem about the family coming to Pakistan for Talha’s wedding. Now we are talking about his death and funeral arrangements.”
Alam said Rashid and his son, who was shot alongside him, “fell victim to terrorism. . . . The whole world should work together to eliminate this scourge.”
Avowed neo-Nazi Brenton Harrison Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian, has been charged in the massacres.
Pakistan has been a victim and an alleged source of Islamist terrorism for two decades. Even as tens of thousands of Pakistanis have been killed in Islamist militant attacks, India, Afghanistan and the United States have accused it of sheltering and supporting other militant groups that stage attacks abroad.
The slayings in Christchurch signified a relatively rare instance in which Muslims living peaceably overseas have been targeted by mass violence because of their religion.