Originally an Indian resident from Gujarat, Musa Vali Suleman Patel was a devout religious leader, wise teacher and outspoken orator at the Fiji Muslim League as well as an Imam for the Lautoka Jame Masjid for more than twenty five years.
Imam Musa Patel had just visited his children -He is father to two sons and three daughters- in Australia three weeks before the tragedy. He later visited Christchurch then proceeded to join the congregational Friday prayer where he was martyred on one of Islam’s most blessed days. His brother Haji Ali Patel announced that the Imam had passed away while receiving treatment in the hospital.
Frank Bainimarama, the prime minister of Fiji mourned the loss of Imam Musa Patel saying: “Soon we found that Fijians were among the 50 Muslim worshippers who were so brutally slaughtered, making this heartbreaking tragedy even more personal for our nation.”
Described by his son as “A national icon” and “A recognizable face”, the family expects thousands to attend his funeral prayer.
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