EDMONTON - Hundreds of Canadian Muslims have paid farewell to a young Muslim girl, who was allegedly beaten and starved by her parents, an incident that has hit hard the sizable minority.
"It's very sad. It's very sad to see a child go through this and the parents go through this," Khama Assaf, who attended the funeral service, told CBC News on Saturday, September 22.
"It's very, very sad for the whole community.
Everybody knows. The whole community knows. And [anyone] who has time today, they came for the funeral, she added.
Shrouded in tiny bright pink casket, the body of two-year-old girl known in documents as M arrived at Al Rashid mosque in Edmonton on Saturday, September 22, where hundreds of Muslims waited to bid her farewell.
The two-year-old girl spent the last three months in a coma, virtually brain dead.
She died Thursday night shortly after the Supreme Court of Canada rejected a request to stay an appeals court ruling that allowed doctors to remove her from a ventilator.
The young Muslim girl was discovered in May when paramedics were called to the family's home to find the child with a head injury and in cardiac arrest.
Both the girl and her twin sister were severely malnourished. The second girl is recovering.
The girl and her twin sister were reportedly abused and neglected by her Algerian-born parents.
The parents were taken to custody and are facing charges of aggravated assault, criminal negligence causing bodily harm and failing to provide the necessities of life.
The charges are now expected to be increased after the girl's death.
During their daughter's funeral, the parents were escorted into and out of the building separately by sheriffs through the back door of the mosque. Both were in handcuffs and shackles.
The girl's mother was visibly distraught during the service, barely able to stand at times.
The death of the young girl has left many Muslims feeling heart-broken.
"It's a very devastating experience for everyone, Al Rashid mosque Imam Mustafa Khattab told CBC News.
It's a very difficult moment.
Khattab said although many of the mourners did not know the family personally, the news of the girl's death has hit the Muslim community hard.
"Everybody heard about it on TV," said Ahmed, who would not give his last name but said he was in the room when the girl's father was brought in to view the coffin.
"We prayed for the girl and for the family, to help them out.
Under Islam, it is the responsibility of each individual to treat all of creation with respect, honor, and dignity.
In Islam, Muslim parents are urged to treat children with respect and to nurture, love and educate them.
Islam gives children many rights and is concerned with their spiritual, physical, and emotional well being.
Muslims are ordered to offer children physical needs, such as food, drink and sleep as well as taking care of their children's emotional and spiritual needs.