Murdered Central Ohio Cardiologist Remembered As Martyr
His murder garnered national attention: a central Ohio doctor gunned down while on a humanitarian mission in Pakistan.
Saturday, Dr. Mehdi Qamar's friends, colleagues and family remembered his life of service at a memorial in Groveport.
Doctor Qamar was shot and killed in front of his family, while on a humanitarian mission last month in Pakistan.
Those who knew him said he was fully aware of the dangers of traveling to Pakistan, but he went year-after-year, all in the name of saving lives.
The people in the pews were all from different backgrounds, nationalities and religions, but the one thing they all had in common was Dr. Mehdi Qamar.
"Our community does not believe in violence and that is one of the major reasons why we are targeted," Dr. Anwar Din said.
The Pickerington cardiologist was visiting his parents' gravesites with his wife and young son, when family members said he was attacked by extremists. He was a member of the Ahmadi Muslim community and his family said he was killed for what he believed.
"He was willing to make any sacrifice to what he believed to be true following his faith and truly submitting to the will of God," fellow Ahmadiyya Muslim, Bashir Asad, said. Qamar's killing got the attention of lawmakers in other countries and here at home. Saturday, both U.S. senators from Ohio sent representatives to the tribute.
Representative from U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown's office, Michaela Hahn-Lawson, said, "Dr. Qamar's commitment to others created an impact that will carry beyond any one state or nation."
His religious brethren said he lived a devoted servant and died a martyr.
"He would say today, don't mourn my death, follow me in my life, and be ready to give your spirit, your service your humanity to save other lives," Azhar Haneef said.
Both U.S. Senators from Ohio, as well as congressman Steve Stivers say they have reached out to secretary of state John Kerry for more to be done to stop the violence against Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan.