An anti-Muslim hate crime appears to have occurred in this stabbing of a prayer leader during Sunday morning prayers at a mosque in Paterson, New Jersey, as it did during the Ramadan Holy Month. The event sparked international outrage.
According to reports in the international press, Omar Mosque’s Imam Sayed Elnakib was stabbed numerous times but managed to live and is now in stable condition.
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The perpetrator, who was identified as Serif Zorba, attacked the 65-year-old prayer leader with full force while leading prayers. Zorba tried to flee after hitting the Imam, but he was stopped and eventually arrested by police.
He will appear in court on charges that include first-degree attempted murder and other felonies.
At the time of the vicious attack, the mosque was estimated to have at least 200 attendees.
The injured Imam was later visited by Paterson’s mayor, Andre Sayegh, who confirmed that he had a punctured lung but was otherwise in excellent spirits.
He later gave a news conference, praising the congregation members’ efforts in stopping the assailant. The mayor also promised to increase security at the mosques in Paterson.