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NZ terror attack: Victim Abdus Samad's journey from humble beginnings

  • Published at 05:46 pm March 27th, 2019
Dr Md Abdus Samad, one of the casualties at the Christchurch terrorist attack, was originally from Kurigram in Bangladesh Courtesy

He obtained his PhD from Lincoln University and helped build the Al Noor Mosque

Muhammad Abdus Samad, 66, was a Bangladeshi scientist who was killed in the Al Noor Mosque terror attack in New Zealand on March 15.

Abdus Samad came from humble origins. He grew up in Madhur Hailla village in Kurigram district, and walked 18km to attend school every day, reports Stuff. He had three siblings, one of whom was killed in the Liberation War in 1971.

Samad studied animal science at the Bangladesh Agricultural University in Mymensingh, and later received a scholarship to study in New Zealand.

He saw education as a sacrifice, and eventually obtained his PhD from Lincoln University. While doing so, he helped a group of fellow Muslims build the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch, and became a muezzin (one who recites the call to prayer).

As a leader of the local Muslim community, he worked with newly-converted Muslims, to ensure they learned the tenets of Islam.

"If you become a new Muslim and you get bad teaching, you can become an extremist," Tariq Muhammad, his son, said.

He added: "It was very important to him to tell them [new converts] about the compassion and the sympathy of Islam."

Also Read- New Zealand terror attack: Dr Samad to be buried in Christchurch

Samad retired in New Zealand in 2012. Then, on March 15 this year, became one of the 50 victims of the Christchurch terror attack.

"It has been more than a week and I am still crying," Samad's childhood friend, Shahjahan said through tears while speaking to Stuff from Cleveland, Ohio.

"He was one of the most honest people," he added.

Samad's family and locals from his village formed a human chain in his honour, and next week, a larger service will be held.

Tariq said that Samad loved New Zealand, and found: "The people are more congenial, you have a democratic system, the institutions are better."

"He had two places, home and the mosque," Toaha Muhammad, his eldest son, said.

Tariq added: "Someone who was so peace-loving, so humble, who always taught peace… For someone to just come in and shoot him like that, it is so hard to accept."

Samad was buried at the Linwood cemetery, along with many of the other victims.

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