LONDON: A young Somali man who died trying to prevent the “attempted murder” of an 82-year-old British woman in London has been hailed as a hero.
Ali Abucar Ali, 20, was stabbed by the attacker last Friday in Brentford as he tried to stop him from attacking Betty Walsh, who was also stabbed during the incident and taken to hospital.
Walsh remains in hospital with a serious but not life-threatening condition, according to a police statement.
“We send our deepest, sincerest condolences to the family, friends, and loved ones of Ali Abucar Ali,” Tell Mama, a group registering hate crime in the UK, said in a statement on Monday.
“His heroism and kindness are truly, truly remarkable. It’s a deep, tragic loss.”
Marie and James Walsh wrote on a GoFundMe page for Ali that he was a “hero – he died trying to save our mum/mother-in-law.”
Norris Henry, 37, was arrested following the incident on suspicion of the murder of Ali and attempted murder of Walsh and later charged with both.
Reaction to lack of coverage
Meanwhile, the coverage of the incident by the British mainstream media, especially ignoring the Somalian origin of the hero victim, has been criticized mainly on social media.
“When the killing of (MP) David Amess took place, the word Somali was heavily emphasized in all news reports,” Kareem Dennis, better known by his stage name Lowkey, wrote on Twitter.
“Less than a month later, Ali Abucar Ali saves an 84-year-old woman and is killed in the process. The word Somali is not being mentioned at all let alone emphasized anywhere,” the London-based musician and peace activist wrote.
Khaled Beydoun, a prominent academic whose researches include Islamophobia also joined the criticism of the lack of coverage by the mainstream media.
“The young Muslim man is a Hero. I wish the media were as keen to cover the stories of Muslim heroes like Ali as they are (keen to cover) the “terrorists”,” he wrote on Twitter.
The professor was referring to heavy emphasis by many British media outlets on the Somali background of Ali Harbi Ali who murdered MP David Amess on Oct. 15 during a meeting with his constituents.