Murder victim's mother saddened
by number of slain youth
Memorial service for Terrence Riaz Ali on Saturday
BY LISA QUEEN
July 31, 2007 02:12 PM
Moonie Ali has avoided reading or watching the news since
her son was killed four years ago because the never-ending
violence takes her back to the day her 15-year-old son was
beaten to death in Scarborough.
But she still hears about Toronto's increasing tally of
As she prepares for this Saturday's fourth annual memorial
service in honour of her son, Terrence Riaz Ali, the numbers
of murdered youth leaves Ali distraught.
"It (is) so much for me to handle. The pain. Everything
comes back," she said. "We come into this world
and know we would have to bury our parents. We never thought
or acknowledge we might have to bury a child. This is the
most devastating thing for any parent."
Two recent high-profile fatal shootings in particular have
left her broken-hearted.
This month, 11-year-old Ephraim Brown was slain while attending
a family birthday party in North York. Jordan Manners, a
15-year-old student, was gunned down inside C.W. Jefferys
Collegiate in May.
"I heard about this 11-year-old. I can't imagine,
although I'm in the same situation as that mother, I just
can't imagine what that mother is going through. The whole
family, but especially the mother. He was just a baby. I
cannot cope with it. When I heard about this 11-year-old,
I felt I was going crazy. I felt that pain," she said.
"I wanted to attend that (Jordan's) funeral. I wanted
to reach out to that family, but I didn't have a clue how
to reach out."
Unfortunately, Ali understands the emotional agony of losing
a child all too well.
While attending celebrations during Caribana weekend in
August 2003, Terrence was found beaten to death on the shores
of Lake Ontario near the Rouge Hill GO station.
An autopsy revealed the high school student suffered fatal
blunt force trauma wounds to the head, chest and neck.
Three men were convicted in the beating death, including
Jason Habibullah, who pled guilty to second-degree murder,
and Raymond Mackhan, who pled guilty to manslaughter. A
young offender pled guilty to first-degree murder.
Caribana weekend is especially difficult for Ali.
"I don't even want to hear the word Caribana, but
you can't stop people from talking. Certain words are a
trigger for me at that time (of the year) and every day,"
"Some people say as time goes by, things are going
to get easier but there is always a pain. People say it's
a long time (since Terrence's murder). It is a long time,
but for the people going through it, it is just like yesterday.
It has affected all areas of my life, all areas of my loved
Reaching beyond her pain, Ali has dedicated her life to
helping victims of crime and violence, establishing a victims'
rights group called the Terrence Ali Foundation.
In May, her efforts were recognized when the provincial
government presented her with an inaugural Victim Services
Award of Distinction. Progressive Conservative Attorney
General critic Bob Runciman said Ali helps victims with
"great energy, compassion, dedication and conviction."
The memorial service for Terrence will take place Saturday,
Aug. 4 at 3 p.m. in Lot 6 of the Duffin Meadows Cemetery
at 2505 Brock Rd. N. in Pickering.
Ali has also been selected to represent the Greater Toronto
Area in the Walk for Justice for Murder Victims next month.
Participants will walk back and forth from Queen's Park
to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice court house at
361 University Ave. calling on the justice system to better
recognize the rights of families who have lost a loved one
"I don't even refer to what we have in Canada as a
justice system. If this is justice, I don't want to see
what is injustice," Ali said. "We are going by
a legal system that has yet to be changed into a justice
The walk takes place Sept. 9 at 3 p.m.