CA: CHURCH TO HOLD SERVICE FOR SLAIN MUSLIM WOMAN
A Fremont church will host a memorial service Saturday for Alia Ansari, 38, the Afghan woman who was shot in the head as she picked up three of her six children from Glenmoor Elementary School.
Ansari was killed Thursday at the corner of Glenmoor Drive and Central Avenue. A ''person of interest'' has been questioned and is in custody on a separate parole violation. But no one has been arrested in connection with her death.
Tuesday, Fremont police said there was no change in the status of the 27-year-old Fremont man; he was at Santa Rita Jail on a parole hold.
Pastor Bruce Green, who is a facilitator between Christians and Muslims, visited the Ansari family Monday evening and asked Ansari's husband, Ahmad, if he would like to use the Centerville Presbyterian Church's gymnasium to host a community gathering honoring his wife.
According to Green, Ahmad Ansari said yes. Ahmad Ansari has declined to speak to the media about his wife's death. Green reached out to the family on Eid al-Fitr, a Muslim celebration after the monthlong fast of Ramadan. Despite the family's grief, Green said he was treated as an honored guest.
"He was so gracious to agree," Green said. "I appreciate their family's spirit. I felt so warmly received by the way I was greeted. It was very humbling for me."
Ahmad Ansari will probably not be at the memorial; he hopes to fly to Afghanistan this weekend to bury his wife there. Cousin Hashmat Ansari, who owns Pamir Travel in Fremont, said he's helping pay for the plane tickets.
The service will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. in the gymnasium of Centerville Presbyterian Church, 4360 Central Ave. The room can hold about 500 guests.
IF YOU'RE INTERESTED: To donate to a fund for the Ansari children, checks can be made to the "Ansari Family" at Washington Mutual, account No. 3091558830, and Fremont Bank, account No. 55041477.