A survivor of last week’s New Zealand mosque shootings whose wife was among those killed said he forgives the attacker.
“I don’t have any grudge against him,” said Farid Ahmed, according to the BBC. His spouse, Hosne Ahmed, was shot dead as she ran into a Christchurch mosque to save him. “I have forgiven him and I’m praying for him that God will guide him and then one day, he will be a savior.”
Ahmed vowed that the Muslim community would not retaliate, and cautioned against fear. He also attempted to show understanding toward the gunman.
“I lost my wife, but I don’t hate the killer,” he said. “As a person, I love him. But I’m sorry I cannot support what he did, but I think somewhere along in his life maybe he was hurt but he could not translate that hurt in a positive manner.”
The gunman targeted two mosques, killing at least 50 people and injuring dozens more. He appears to have embraced white supremacy and a hatred for Muslim immigrants, expressed by a 74-page manifesto posted online before the attacks.
Muslims, echoing Ahmed’s message of strength after the shootings, posted photos of mosques packed with worshippers who refused to be deterred from expressing their faith.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.