A Truro man paused to remember a fellow scientist who was one of those gunned down during Friday prayers in Christchurch.
Nasif Sarowar said his former colleague Abdus Samad was a “resourceful person,” who moved from Canada to New Zealand with his family about five years ago.
“It’s a loss to the world – he was a scientist,” said Sarowar after Friday prayers at the Truro Masjid. “He was praying at the mosque with his wife and both of them got killed … his son is missing as well.”
One or more terrorists attacked two mosques in Christchurch, using assault rifles to kill and injure victims, while live-streaming their actions on social media.
Sarowar, a postdoctoral researcher specializing in salmon farming at Dal AC, enjoyed working alongside Samad and said his old colleague was also well-liked by his students in New Zealand.
Both scientists hail from Bangladesh, but left their birth country to pursue opportunities abroad.
“Being an immigrant from another country, you always feel a little bit anxious,” said Sarowar.
Nonetheless, worshippers freely came and went for Friday prayers at the Truro Masjid in Valley, with 11 people attending on the afternoon of March 15. Prayers were said for the dead and wounded in Christchurch.
Sarowar’s fellow worshipper Mohammed Rafiq, from Pakistan, wondered if Muslim community gatherings in Nova Scotia would remain safe without police protection.
“It’s not something human,” said Rafiq of the attacks. “We feel very sad and we send our heartfelt condolences to the victims and their families.”
But prayer leader Mohammed Alam said that despite recent Islamophobic violence in Peterborough and Quebec City, Canada remains a safe place for its Muslim citizens.
“We feel Canada, thank God, is comparatively safer than other areas,” said Alam.