Faraz Tahir, security guard who died trying to stop Bondi Junction Westfield attacker, remembered as ‘national hero’

By Ethan Rix and Lydia Feng, ABC

Bondi Junction security guard, Faraz Tahir, who was killed while trying to save shoppers from a knife-wielding attacker, has been remembered as a national hero at a funeral service in north-west Sydney.

The 30-year-old was one of six people killed during the stabbing attack at the Bondi Junction Westfield on 13 April.

It was the Pakistani national’s first day shift as a security guard at the shopping centre.

Mourners have gathered for a funeral prayer at the Baitul Huda mosque in Marsden Park honouring the life of Faraz Tahir.

Tahir’s colleague, Muhammad Taha, who was also on duty on the day of the attack and suffered serious injuries while trying to intervene, attended the funeral.

Taha said he asked for permission to leave his hospital bed because he wanted to say goodbye to his colleague and speak to his family.

He became emotional as he recalled Tahir’s final words.

“We were standing side-by-side when all of a sudden we heard people shouting and screaming,” he said.

“We were trying to save people at the time and his last words were ‘let’s find out what’s going on’.”

The lone-attacker, 40-year-old Queenslander Joel Cauchi, was shot dead by NSW police inspector Amy Scott.

Taha said although he only met Tahir that day, they would be forever connected.

“It’s been two weeks, and I can’t even sleep… lots of nightmares, the trauma is horrific,” he said.

“He will be missed, we will remember him.”

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (C) stands with New South Wales Premier Chris Minns (4th R) and other officials as they prepare to leave flowers outside the Westfield Bondi Junction shopping mall in Sydney on April 14, 2024, the day after a 40-year-old knifeman with mental illness roamed the packed shopping centre killing six people and seriously wounding a dozen others. (Photo by DAVID GRAY / AFP)

Speaking outside the mosque, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said there was no doubt that Tahir died a national hero.

“He was grateful to Australia,” Albanese said.

“Today, as our nation remembers his bravery and honours his life, we affirm that Australia will always be grateful to Faraz Tahir.”

NSW Premier Chris Minns echoed the prime minister’s sentiment, saying the state mourned the goodness Tahir still had to offer.

Family honour the ‘bravest person’ they know

Faraz Tahir arrived in Australia 18 months ago after fleeing persecution in Pakistan for being an Ahmaddiyya Muslim.

A number of Faraz Tahir’s family members travelled from Pakistan to say their final farewells.

His brother, Shiraz Tahir, said the family spoke to him on the phone the night before his death where the 30-year-old said he was excited to start his new job.

A family leaves the Westfield Bondi Junction shopping mall after a stabbing incident in Sydney on April 13, 2024. Australian police on April 13 said they had received reports that

“Always he intended to help people every time that I saw him, and we spent lots of time together,” Shiraz Tahir said.

“The strongest person in our family obviously and now in Australia, he was the strongest person, and he was the bravest person I’ve seen,” he said.

Another brother, Mudasar Bashir, said the family were proud of him and thanked the public for their love and compassion.

“He gave his life to protect others, he gave his blood to protect the public and we want everyone to pray for him.”

Tahir was a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and attended the Baitul Huda Mosque.

The mosque’s Imam Inamul ul-Haq Kauser said the community felt comforted by the support for Tahir from across the country.

“His sacrifice has been recognised by all Australians,” Kauser said.

“Another life is waiting for him, I’m sure it will be a heavenly life.”

Faraz Tahir will be buried in Sydney.

A black ribbon is projected onto the Sydney Opera House on April 15, 2024, as a mark of respect for the victims of the Westfield Bondi Junction shopping mall attack. A 40-year-old knifeman with mental illness roamed the packed shopping centre on April 13, killing six people and seriously wounding a dozen others. (Photo by DAVID GRAY / AFP)

National blood drive created in honour of Tahir

In honour of Tahir and in response to the Bondi Junction stabbing attack, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Australia (AMYA) has announced the launch of a new nationwide blood drive.

Speaking to ABC’s News Breakfast, AMYA president Adnan Qadir described Tahir as a “true hero” and “someone who had a big heart” that “gave his life to save other people”.

“I think this is a true Australian story. We have each other’s backs and support the community members,” he said.

“The Holy Quran teaches us that, ‘Who saves one man’s life saves the entire humanity’.”

Qadir said Tahir’s death inspired the AMYA, with the youth group making the collective decision that the “best way to honour his memory is to give back to the community”.

He added that “what could be better than donating our blood to assist the fellow Australians in difficult times”.

Established in partnership with Red Cross Lifeblood, the campaign, named “Faraz’s Gift”, is intended to encourage Australians to give blood.

The campaign was officially launched on 17 April.

The AMYA has said the blood drive was to honour Tahir and to commemorate “the lives of the other five individuals lost in the tragedy”.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

Related News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button