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Today marks the first Holy Friday for Muslims after the Christchurch terror attack. For Wida Tausif, it’s the morning after her uncle was buried.
Ms Tausif’s uncle, 71-year-old, Haji Daoud Nabi, became the first victim in the attack when he unknowingly welcomed his killer into the Al-Noor mosque.
“In Islam, we welcome everyone, even our enemies. Just like my uncle did,” says Ms Tausif.
Daoud has been hailed a hero after he shielded his companion from a bullet, and lost his life.
Ms Tausif, a 26-year-old writer and women’s rights advocate, describes her uncle as one of the most beautiful people she’s ever known.
“My uncle died in a heroic way in a holy place of Islam, the house of worship. He portrayed the true face of Islam.”
Ms Tausif and her family migrated to New Zealand from Afghanistan when she was 9 years old, before moving to Australia in 2011. She says last Friday’s gruesome attack reminds her of the violence she and her family fled Afghanistan all those years ago.
Daoud was the first in his community to open a mosque in Christchurch, where he also ran a language school that Ms Tausif and her brother, Ali, attended.
“I remember I was 10 years old and Uncle Daoud used to come in the morning with his white van and pick me and my brother up for school, and he would also drop us home.
“He would always give me my favourite flavoured drink and treated us like his own children.
“My family is broken.”
The love and support Ms Tausif receives from the community is helping her family mend, but she says was so devastated that she couldn’t bear to fly back to attend the funeral.
Her brother Ali flew to attend the Islamic burial on Thursday. Haji Daoud was buried along with seven other victims from the tragic event.
Both Ali and Ms Tausif say without the support and kindness of communities from all backgrounds, the pain and suffering would have been unbearable.