British backpacker’s funeral to include passage from the Qur’an

theguardian: by

Mia Ayliffe-Chung’s funeral will be multi-faith ceremony to counter ‘misinterperation’ of her murder as an act of terrorism

British backpacker Mia Ayliffe-Chung.

British backpacker Mia Ayliffe-Chung

A British backpacker murdered in Australia will have a reading from the Qur’an at her funeral to counter the “misrepresentation” of her killing as an act of terrorism, her mother has said.

Mia Ayliffe-Chung was stabbed to death at a hostel in Queensland last Tuesday. Thomas Jackson, 30, died in hospital overnight on Monday from injuries he sustained trying to save her.

Smail Ayad, 29, from France, has been charged with the pair’s murder.

Detectives have played down terrorism as a motive for the killing, despite reports that the attacker shouted “Allahu Akbar” during the stabbing, and suggested that “mental health or drug misuse issues” may have played a part.

On Tuesday Rosie Ayliffe complained about the “misrepresentation” of her daughter’s death “as an act of terrorism on the part of an Islamic fundamentalist”. She said Mia’s funeral would be a multi-faith ceremony, with a reading from the Qur’an, along with a Jewistext or song, a Sikh reading and a Buddhist performance.

“After talking about the misrepresentation of Mia’s death in the media as an act of terrorism on the part of an Islamic fundamentalist, the minister delivering the service suggested we include a Qur’anic reading, and he will find something suitable with a friend who is an Islamic scholar,” Ayliffe wrote in her Independent column.

She said her daughter was “essentially Buddhist in outlook” and believed in reincarnation and other tenets of the faith. “We have therefore decided on a prolonged, reverberating note from a Buddhist singing bowl to signify the beginning and end of a meditation on life and death,” she added.

Ayliffe, from Wirksworth in Derbyshire, previously said her daughter’s ashes would be scattered around the world so she could continue her travels.

Police allege Jackson was set upon by Ayad in the bathroom of Shelley’s Backpackers in Home Hill, north Queensland, where he and another man were tending to the fatally wounded Ayliffe-Chung.

His father, Les Jackson, said on Tuesday: “Our darling Tom has left us and the world is a poorer place. Thanks again to everyone for the love and support you have given us over the last few days, we will be forever grateful.

“There is dark and evil in this world perpetrated by a few, but so much more love and light emanates from so many more. That thought will sustain us over the coming days.”

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