BRADFORDIANS turned up in their thousands to pay their respects at a funeral for four young men who lost their lives last Thursday.

Murtza Chaudhry, 21, Arbaaz Hussain, 21 Zeeshan Khalid, 20, and Tayyab Siddique, 22, who were said to be school friends, were killed in a crash that happened at about 5:30am on August 2nd.

The grey BMW they were travelling in crashed into a tree on Bingley Road, at the junction with Toller Lane and all four men died at the scene.

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On Saturday afternoon, people from across Bradford, the whole of the U.K., and even from abroad came together at a funeral ceremony, on a field next to Scotchman Road in commemoration of four young men.

MP for Bradford East, Imran Hussain said: “We saw today, well over 10,000 people attended from across the district - young and old came together, united to pray for four young men.”

A number of other high profile figures were at the funeral, including the Lord Mayor of Bradford, and Cllr Kamran Hussain (Lab, Toller).

The service was set to begin at 4pm and for at least an hour there was a continuous stream of people entering the field, where volunteers chaperoned and controlled the flow of people.

Scotchman Road wasclosed in anticipation of the funeral, with an announcement on social media being made for people to not bring cars to prevent clogging up surrounding streets - this indicates the sheer impact the deaths have had on the Muslim community.

One bystander said: “Here, they don’t look at who it is, we’re all family. Asian people are close, half of them don’t know each other.”

A clear message was presented throughout the service - these young men were taken before their time, but more needs to be done to prevent the loss of young lives.

The four hearses arrived at around 4:20pm to an announcement from Imam Muhammed Asim.

He said: “Our brothers have arrived, they’re laying down in front of us.”

The Imam spoke for much of the funeral, conveying messages of condolence and learning.

He said: “These are not old men that have gone, they didn’t have a heart attack, or diabetes, this wasn’t a natural death. Something happened, and it was written that they had to go.

“For the parents, how must it feel right now - how can they put their 20-year-old in the ground? These young people, they had their whole life ahead. We can see what one moment of madness can do.”

He added: “They had not lost a member of family, the whole community has - we’ve lost our brothers. This is becoming a regular occurrence, time and time again.

“The whole of Bradford has been robbed. When are we going to realise, it’s life, the way they live it, we’ll keep losing them. As a community, we should step up - the truth is, we’ve failed. This life is nothing but a playground of deception.

“Open your eyes, wake up Muslims of Bradford, we can’t let this happen again.”

The service ended with condolences for the families of the victims, followed by four short prayers.

The T&A was told by a bystander that within the Muslim community there are a number of different sects that practice their prayers in slightly different ways , but for this service it had been decided that all sects of Islam would come together in a show of unity.

As the funeral came to its conclusion people began to filter out and the sun, which had been blaring for the whole ceremony, momentarily went in.Normally, this moment would mark the chance for all well-wishers to see the “brothers”, but on this occasion it was closed only to relatives.

The hearses left to a chorus of an Iman chanting and many women cried as they caught sight of the cars and coffins leaving for the cemetery, where family would have chance to pay their own personal respects before burying.

Cllr Kamra Hussain, who is the local councillor for the ward where the crash happened, said: “It’s been a day of mourning. I was speaking to people here and they’re all still in a state of shock. Thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends.”

He added: “Bradford came together today, to show moral support. To try to get over the fact that we’ve lost four young souls from Bradford.”

MP Imran Hussain said: “Our thoughts continue to be with the friends and family of the victims. It’s a tragic incident and the community is still in shock. These were young men who were well known and well liked.

“Investigations continue to go on and answers to serious questions need answering and I will continue to pursue this through the relevant channels. But right now, we’re coming together to provide support.”

BOOK OF CONDOLENCE: Toller Lane crash victims

Leave your messages of sympathy for the four young men who died in a car crash on Toller Lane, Heaton, in the early hours of August 2.

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