The mother of the 21-year-old British backpacker stabbed to death in a Queensland hostel has, after her brief original statement, written a heartbreaking piece for UK site The Independent about her daughter.
Mia Ayliffe-Chung, from Derbyshire, was killed when another hostel guest, 29-year-old French citizen Smail Ayad, stabbed her in front of 30 people at the Home Hill hostel, where she was staying while working on a Queensland farm in order to gain Australian citizenship.
Aycliffe-Chung’s mother Rosie Ayliffe‘s piece discusses her memories of her daughter and the process of grief, as well as her plans to scatter Mia’s ashes in the parts of the world she hadn’t had the chance to visit yet:
I’m fully aware that her body is on a slab somewhere in a cold dark place. She wouldn’t mind the dark, but she’s not good with the cold. I couldn’t bear for her to be kept like that for weeks and decided she needed to be cremated sooner rather than later. I know some of her friends are struggling with that, because they wanted her body brought home and a cremation or burial here in the Wirksworth area, but she has friends all over the place. Hence the plan to create a place of remembrance here, but also to give various people vials of Mia’s ashes to scatter in places dear to her or to them. That way she can visit places she hasn’t visited yet. Canada, New Zealand, Singapore.
Predictably, much of the discourse around Mia’s death has been the motivations of the killer – and many groups have used it as a chance to attack Islam and ascribe religious motivations for the murder. Ayliffe’s letter rejects those narratives.
Smail Ayad – the French man being held on suspicion of my daughter’s murder – is not an Islamic fundamentalist, he has never set foot in a mosque.[… ] Having been raised as a socialist and within the Church, what I choose to take from the scriptures and from socialist texts is that forgiveness and reparation are absolutely key, or violence escalates into something uncontrollable. And the person who killed Mia now has to live with the fact that they destroyed my daughter. If they feel no remorse, then surely they’re a monster in human form, and what kind of life is that?
Guests have told authorities that Ayad was ‘obsessed’ with Ayliffe-Chung, that she had rejected sexual advances by him, and he had said that he planned to marry her.
There are reports that the French national yelled ‘Allahu Akhbar’ during the attack, which still have not been confirmed. French-speakers who were present during the attack said most of what he was yelling was nonsensical, and police suggest there is “no evidence” of a religious motivation for the attack.
The entire letter is worth a read – check it out here.
Source: The Independent.