Christchurch, NewZealand: Abdulaziz, the real-life hero, dealt the gunman barehanded, made him flee, kept him from entering the mosque, saved several lives from the death in Linwood mosque. This makes him a sensation and a source of inspiration for the whole world, risking his life for others.
Having gunned down 42 Muslims mercilessly in Masjid Al Noor, the white supremacist Brenton Tarrant, 28, moved 5 km ahead to carry out the same in another mosque, Linwood masjid. There he killed seven outside the mosque but failed to enter due to fierce confrontation by a Muslim name Abdul Aziz.
Hailed from Afghanistan, Abdul Aziz, a man in his 48, was present in Linwood Masjid, one of the two mosques that became the victim of the ruthless terrorism last Friday. He was there with his four sons to offer Friday prayers.
Abdul Aziz describes his scene in an interview to AFP as “You don’t have much time to think, whatever you think of, you just do it, you know,“
Hearing the gunshots, Abdul Aziz became suspicious and ran out of the mosque, grabbing a small credit card processing device.
Outside, he was stunned to find an armed man wearing military-style fatigues.
“At first, I didn’t know if he was the good guy or the bad guy. But when he started swearing, I knew he was not the good guy,” mentioned Abdul Aziz.
Abdul Aziz hurled the machine at Tarrant, the terrorist and then ducked between several cars as the shooter sprayed bullets on him, but he remained unhurt by the grace of Allah.
During this battle, he heard his two young sons, aged 11 and 5, calling out, “Daddy, please come back inside!“, but the Dad was ready to sacrifice his life for his children and others in the mosque.
Abdul Aziz managed to pick the gun which the shooter dropped, but found it empty.
Holding the same gun in hand, he shouted “come on here” repeatedly in an effort to distract the shooter from the mosque.
“When he sees the gun in my hands, I don’t know what happened, he dropped the gun, and I chased him with my own gun…I managed to throw the gun on his car and smash the car window, and I could see he was a bit frightened.“
Feared and shivered, the terrorist drove out fast to skip retaliating further with Abdul Aziz, who kept chasing him till he sped off in his car.
The 48-year-old then returned to the mosque where he was greeted by scenes of carnage. People came out of the mosque to receive him as their savior.
Latef Alabi, the Imam of Linwood
Appreciating the efforts of Abdul Aziz, Shaikh Latef Alabi, the acting Imam who was leading prayers that day mentioned, “The death toll would have been far higher at the Linwood mosque if it wasn’t for Aziz.“
Alabi said that he heard a voice outside the mosque at about 1:55 p.m., and stopped the prayer he was leading and peeked out the window. He saw a guy in black military-style gear and a helmet holding a large gun and assumed it was a police officer. Then he saw two bodies and heard the gunman yelling obscenities.
“I realized this is something else. This is a killer,” he said.
He yelled at the congregation of more than 80 to get down. They hesitated. A shot rang out, a window shattered, and a body fell, and people began to realize it was for real.
“Then this brother came over. He went after him, and he managed to overpower him, and that’s how we were saved,” Alabi said, referring to Abdul Aziz. “Otherwise, if he managed to come into the mosque, then we would all probably be gone.”
Thanks to Allah, the Almighty!
In an interview to CNN, Abdul Aziz said, “I promise you I wasn’t frightened or anything,” …adding further, he mentioned that he was prepared to give his life for those he loved.
“I was doing my job. If anyone was there in that situation would do the same thing as I did,” said Abdul Aziz.
In a response related to the people at the mosque who praised him for his actions, he stated “I got to be honest with you, it wasn’t me, it was Allah Almighty Who saved everybody. God saved everyone,”
In his childhood, Abdul Aziz reached Australia as a refuge and continued to live for three decades. Citing the racism being erupted in that country, he shifted along with his family to New Zealand, which he termed as a peaceful country.