Sabika Sheikh’s funeral prayers offered in Houston


HOUSTON: The funeral prayers of Sabika Sheikh-the Pakistani exchange student was shot dead in Santa Fe massacre in Texas on Friday-were offered in a local mosque in Houston on Sunday after Namaz-e-Zuhr. 

The prayers, which were held by Pakistani Consulate in Houston at Sugar Land’s Masjid Sabireen, was separate from the one to be held in Karachi, which her family, friends and relatives will attend.

Hundreds of people, including the families of southwestern Texas, gathered to join the prayers. The officials of Pakistani Consulate, local members of United Staes Congress, members of Pakistani diaspora and Santa Fe High School also attended the service.

Afshan Jilani, a Pakistan-born human resource professional in Houston told media that the funeral was packed. “Over 2000 attending, host family had us in tears, so much love for Sabika,” she said.

Jilani also said that community is still processing the shock and sadness on the killing of the Pakistani exchange student.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner tweeted: “On his We must put our prayers to work, changing laws and policies to protect schools. Otherwise more children will die. She’s a child of the Sheikh family but she is also one of our children, including all who lost their lives.”


In a joint statement, the Spring Interfaith Dialogue Council (SIDC) and the An-Nisa Hope Center (ANHC), offered their condolences to the families directly and indirectly affected by the tragedy and condemned the menace of gun violence and murder in our schools that came to plague innocent students and teachers at a school close to home.

Established in 2009, ANHC offers support and resources to victims of domestic abuse and women’s rights, while SIDC comprises people from Spring Community and surrounding areas who meet regularly to promote discussion to promote understanding among diverse faith communities.

“While mere words cannot bring loved ones back, please know we stand with you in solidarity and will continue to work to end the menace of gun violence in our schools,” the statement read.

About Sabika, the organisations wrote that the teenage student will be missed dearly especially as Muslims are observing the holy month of Ramzan. We will hold her memory close and ensure her legacy lives on in Houston.

“Her family will always have a place for them here if they ever plan on visiting,” the statement said. “Your loved ones will not be forgotten.”