Dozens of mourners from Peterborough and across the country paid tribute to a pizza delivery driver who was killed while at work.
Ali Qasemi (45), who came to the UK from Afghanistan, was expecting his third child with his wife when he died in Addenbrooke’s Hospital last month, after being attacked in Shrewsbury Avenue.
But if there was any anger in the city’s Muslim community at the manner of Mr Qasemi’s death, they put it aside to pay a respectful send-off to a man they had nothing but positive words for.
His friend of 15 years, Ahmed Nawrazi, described him as a “good person, an honest person, a family person - helpful in the community. We miss him a lot.”
The Husaini Islamic Centre in Burton Street was packed today (Friday, June 3) with people attending to say the funeral prayer.
Mr Qasemi’s coffin was then carried out by a large group to the sounds of chanting and placed in a black van where it was taken to Eastfield Cemetery.
The funeral service was a peaceful, dignified affair with the resident priest of the Burton Street mosque, Sheikh Shahnawaaz, saying that Mr Qasemi will be meeting his Lord.
Passages of the Quran were then recited, before the coffin was lowered and men began covering it with earth.
In the midst of such a sombre day, where no words could bring joy to a grieving community, there was one small positive.
That came in the donations to Mr Qasemi’s family reaching the target amount of £3,500.
Donations on the JustGiving page, set up by a former Peterborough candidate in The Apprentice, Nurun Ahmed, was, at the last check, on £3,502 - a crumb of comfort on a bleak day, but nonetheless a fabulous gesture of support.
Two men - Mark Lintott (29) of Shrewsbury Avenue, and Joel Lawson (25) of Goodhale Road, Norwich - are due to appear at Peterborough Crown Court on June 8, charged with the manslaughter of Mr Qasemi.
Both appeared at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court on May 20 where they did not enter pleas.
Both men are also charged with robbery, and Lawson has also been charged with possession of cannabis.