Muslim Christchurch terror attack survivor Farid Ahmed appears with US President Donald Trump

The Christchurch terror attack survivor who forgave the alleged gunman in the days after the shooting has appeared alongside US President Donald Trump at the White House.

Farid Ahmed, a senior leader at the Deans Ave Mosque who lost his wife in the attack, told Newshub after the tragedy he had forgiven the shooter.

The survivor has now appeared alongside Trump and 27 survivors of religious persecution at the White House to discuss religious freedom. 

Trump counts evangelical Christians among his core supporters and the State Department is hosting a conference on the topic this week that will be attended by Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

"What you have in common is each of you have suffered tremendously for your faith. You've endured harassment, threats, attacks, trials, imprisonment, and torture," Trump said in the Oval Office on Thursday (NZ Time).

"Each of you have now become a witness to the importance of advancing religious liberty all around the world."

After making a statement, Trump allowed the participants - who included Uighur Muslims, individuals from North Korea and Iran, and 2018 Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad - to speak

Ahmed thanked Trump on behalf of New Zealand.

"Thank you for your leadership, standing up for humanity, standing up for religious groups and their rights, and thank you for supporting us in the March 15 tragedy in Christchurch. God bless you, and God bless the United States," Ahmed said to Trump.

Trump responded by saying Ahmed had been through a lot and shook Ahmed's hand.

Trump's ambassador for religious freedom, Sam Brownback, said during the meeting that the administration would announce "additional measures" on religious freedom at the State Department meeting on Thursday.

Ahmed's wife, Husna, ran classes for children at the mosque, while he gave sermons. The pair were in separate rooms when the attack happened, and Farid - who uses a wheelchair - couldn't flee.

"I thought I was not going to come out, and I was prepared to die. That's why in the moment I just thought, 'No point in panicking, I'd better be calm and ready'," he told Newshub in March.

Husna got the women and children together and led them to safety before going back to rescue her husband of 25 years.

"Then when they were in a safe place, she was coming back for me - and that is the time when she was coming towards the gate, that is the time," her husband said of when Husna was killed.

Ahmed also spoke at a remembrance service after the attack, saying he could not deny that the alleged gunman was his "human brother".

"This is my faith, and this is what Allah has taught me. That's why I do not hate him, and I cannot hate him.

"I cannot hate anyone."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fifty people were killed when a gunman attacked the Deans Ave and Linwood Ave mosques on Friday, March 15.

Newshub / Reuters.

Contact Newshub with your story tips:
news@newshub.co.nz