Today Mariam Moustafa, the 18-year-old who died after being beaten by a gang of girls in broad daylight outside a shopping centre in Nottingham, will be buried in Egypt, almost two months after her death.
According to Islamic tradition, a body should be buried as soon as possible after someone dies, but as the post mortem proved to be inconclusive, police prevented her parents from burying Mariam, in an attempt to establish the cause of death.
On Tuesday, hundreds of mourners attended the funeral service at the Islamic Centre on Curzon Street, Nottingham.
Yesterday her body was taken to London, for another memorial service. I attended the service, at the London Central Mosque:
We are still awaiting justice for Mariam.
The police said the attack was not racially motivated. Fine.
That’s not hard to believe, considering the staggering rise in knife crime in England over the last year.
I am aware that our real problem is with gangs and petty criminals who are filming themselves robbing and beating people, I am also aware of the massive structural problem that we are facing in the UK. It’s hard not to notice the correlation between police cuts and the rise in violent crime. Just look at these figures.
But it’s not just a “gang” issue.
The British healthcare system failed Mariam. Those witnesses who have not said a word failed Mariam. And she’s also been failed by the authorities who put Mariam’s parents in the position of not burying their daughters for two whole months after her death.
Mariam’s father has expressed his frustration in the delay in Mariam’s body being released and said his life could not “go back to normal”.
Mariam herself was appalled by the inefficiency of the medical care in the UK, as she heartbreakingly said in this video she posted online in November, where she explained that she had a heart problem and went to the hospital twice where they declared her state to be normal.
Let us not forget Mariam and the victims of knife crimes in the UK. Let us not stop to inquire what the UK government is going to do about internal security, and about the decline of the healthcare system in this country.
We owe it to Mariam, we owe it to her parents, and we owe it to all the parents who lost a child in the past months and years.
Rest in peace, Mariam.