x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Mother's prayer on anniversary of child's murder

On the second anniversary of Moosa Mukhtiar Ahmed's murder, his parents speak out about the importance of child safety.

Mukhtiar Ahmed Khudabaksh with his 3-month-old son, who has also been called Moosa.
Mukhtiar Ahmed Khudabaksh with his 3-month-old son, who has also been called Moosa.

DUBAI // On the second anniversary of four-year-old Moosa Mukhtiar Ahmed's rape and murder in a mosque toilet, his parents are urging others to be vigilant about their children's whereabouts.

Moosa was playing outside the mosque with his cousins on Eid Al Adha when he was lured into the toilet by Rashid Al Rashidi with the promise of Eid gifts. The Emirati fisherman then raped Moosa before killing him.

"Parents should be more responsible with their kids," said Jameela Imdad Mukhtiar, Moosa's mother. "I don't want any mother to suffer the way I suffered after the death of my son. It's too painful."

She said it was impossible to describe the harrowing time she went through after Moosa's death. "Only a mother would understand the kind of pain I went through," she said. "I didn't eat or sleep. I still always feel a lot of worry about children. Even when I see a kid walking on the road alone, I get really scared."

Mrs Mukhtiar said she worries constantly about the safety of her remaining children.

"My son Mustafa, who is nine, goes to the school but my daughter Mariam, who is four, stays at home. And they are never out alone. I am taking care of my remaining children very well."

Moosa's father, Mukhtiar Ahmed Khudabaksh, said it took his children a long time to recover from the death of their brother. "They used to get scared to go out," he said.

"I really implore all the parents to take care of their children well."

Mrs Mukhtiar said the day her son's murderer was executed was the happiest of her life. "I was praying for him to die," she said. "He took away my little angel's life. I never wanted to see him alive. He did what no human could ever dare to do."

The execution of Moosa's killer, by firing squad on February 10, was witnessed by his parents and other relatives.

Mr Khudabaksh said he will be forever grateful to Dubai's attorney general Essam Eissa Al Humaidan who always promised him justice.

"I was given justice when the murderer was executed by a firing squad. I knelt before God and offered prayers," he said.

After Moosa death, Mr Khudabaksh was offered a job by the Dubai Government.

Initially, he was offered the job of helping police remove the bodies of accident victims, but he was later moved to a clerical position at police headquarters after he requested a job change.

He now works as a warehouse attendant at Dubai Police Headquarters, where his main duties include sorting files at the on-site clinic.

The family has also moved to a new house, although they are still in the Al Qusais area - a few yards from the place where the murder took place.

"We can't afford another house," said Mrs Mukhtiar. "Moosa's memories still haunt us. I miss him so much. There has not been a single day when I did not remember him."

On Eid Al Fitr this year, just over three months ago, Mrs Mukhtiar gave birth to another baby boy.

"He is a lovely child - a bundle of joy," she said. "He removed some of my pain."

The family decided to name the new child Moosa, in honour of his murdered brother.

"He looks like Moosa so I gave him the same name," said Mr Khudabaksh. "We are very happy to have him.

"I feel like Allah has given me another boy. I used to read the Quran and pray, asking God to give my little son back. God has listened to my prayers and given me a son. I am very happy."