‘Faraz Tahir died a national hero’: Australian Prime Minister attends funeral of martyr

Naosheyrvaan Nasir, Secretary MASQ, Australia

Without question, Faraz Tahir died a national hero”. These are the words of Australian Prime Minister, the Honourable Anthony Albanese MP, that forever cemented a refugee Ahmadi security guard’s place in Australian history. The Premier of the state of New South Wales, the Honourable Chris Minns MP, reflected upon Faraz as “a man of great character as well as courage”.

A refugee who arrived in Australia through the UNHCR programme a little over a year ago, Faraz Tahir became employed as a security guard at the Westfield Shopping Centre in Bondi Junction, a profession that is a tried and tested pathway to financial freedom for many migrants seeking a second chance at life in Australia. For those not familiar with Bondi, it is Australia’s equivalent of Miami in the United States or Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah in the United Arab Emirates, with its lush beaches and warm weather attracting visitors from not just across Sydney, but across the globe.

Muhammad Taha, the other security guard who was stabbed but survived, recounted Tahir’s final words as “Let’s find out what’s going on.” Such last words are only ever uttered by a soul who has absolute courage to walk into the unknown and puts the safety of his fellow human beings above his own.

On 13 April, in the late afternoon, 40-year-old Joel Cauchi began deliberately targeting people with a large knife. His actions were not deemed to be a terrorist attack as judged by the government and the relevant law enforcement agencies. The incident was reported to have been triggered by Cauchi’s chronic mental health issues, which prompted the federal government to concede their measures to address such issues were inadequate. In total, six people were killed. Five of them were women, with Faraz being the sole male. Many more were injured.

The respected Amir and Missionary-in-Charge of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Australia, Inamul Haq Kauser, extolled the virtues of Faraz Tahir and how his actions can serve as a role model for all Ahmadi Muslim youth. He said that “[Faraz was] setting an example for all” and that “his sacrifice has been recognised by all Australians, although he was a stranger in this country.”

In response, Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya Australia the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association Australia) has launched a national blood donation campaign titled, Faraz’s Gift. Per the association’s president, Adnan Qadir, “What could be better than donating our blood to assist our fellow Australians in difficult times.” His brother, Mudasar Bashir added that “he gave his life to protect others, he gave his blood to protect the public and we want everyone to pray for him” making the national blood drive a very fitting way to honour Faraz’s legacy.

The Holy Quran’s chapter 2 verse 155 says, “And say not of those who are killed in the cause of Allah that they are dead; nay, they are living; only you perceive not.” With all the tribute that the late Faraz Tahir has been afforded posthumously, it makes sense that he is remembered, and this verse of the Holy Quran beautifully captures his act of selflessness and bravery. The blood drive in his name speaks to his legacy being well and truly alive, even though Faraz as a human being is no longer physically with us. Death is a phenomenon that will eventually overcome us all, but those who give their lives for the sake of humanity indeed have died for a cause that is far greater than them.

Australia will always be grateful to Faraz Tahir. May he rest in eternal peace”, said the Prime Minister, the Honourable Anthony Albanese MP.

In what can be considered the greatest tribute of all, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaa, Khalifatul Masih V, the Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, highlighted Faraz Ahmad Tahir’s indomitable spirit and principled sacrifice in his Friday sermon delivered today (26 April 2024). Huzooraa recognised Faraz as a shining example of faith and bravery under adversity, saying, “His sacrifice shows that he did not leave Pakistan out of fear of death, but rather due to the religious restrictions imposed on Ahmadis, which made him leave a country where [Ahmadis] are prevented from uttering the name of Allah and His Messengersa.” Furthermore, Huzooraa led his funeral prayer in absentia. (@AlHakamWeekly via X)

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