Prime Ministers of Pakistan and New Zealand earlier paid tributes to Naeem Rashid, a Pakistani who was killed whilst trying to tackle the gunman at Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch on March 15. The 50-year-old embraced martyrdom while trying to stop the Australian attacker and his 21-year-old son was also killed in the process.
PM Imran Khan had announced a national award for the late educationist. Now, a mural artist Paul Walsh has paid tribute to Naeem in West Auckland with a portrait. “Remember the heroes” the mural says.
The artist, Paul, shared the news on Facebook. “The artwork is of Naeem Rashid. Last Friday, Naeem, originally from the Pakistani city of Abbottabad, was in the Deans Ave mosque with his 21-year-old son, Talha, for Friday prayers. Naeem tried to stop the gunman, tackling him to the ground. Neither he or his son survived the attack,” he wrote. “I wish I didn’t know who Naeem was. I wish he was back at his job as a teacher today and I wish I was painting something else. But some coward changed everything and I have had to respond in the only way I know how: by honouring the lives of my fellow New Zealanders who didn’t make it home on Friday,” added Paul. “We will not forget you.”
It was then shared on Twitter. “Naeem Rashid tried to stop the white supremacist gunman in New Zealand but was killed in the act,” the tweet read. “He was a teacher and father of three who emigrated from Pakistan a decade ago. A mural artist, Paul Walsh, has paid tribute to Naeem’s heroic actions on a wall in West Auckland.”
Walsh painted the mural with a green and black background to represent Naeem’s homeland and his home of New Zealand as being “united in mourning.”
Have something to add to the story? Share it in the comments below.