Paterson mosque imam stabbing looks to be an anti-Muslim hate crime.
According to reports in the international press, New Jersey Omar Mosque‘s Imam Sayed Elnakib was stabbed numerous times but managed to live and is now in stable condition.
The perpetrator, who has been named Serif Zorba, attacked the 65-year-old prayer leader with full force while he was 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 offenses.
At the time of the vicious attack, the mosque was estimated to have at least 200 worshippers inside.
The injured Imam was later visited by Paterson’s mayor, Andre Sayegh, who verified that he had a punctured lung but was otherwise in excellent spirits.
He then gave a news conference during which he praised the congregation members’ efforts in stopping the assailant. The mayor also promised to increase security at the mosques in Paterson.
Paterson — a populous town with a populace greater than 150,000, hosts one of several largest Muslim communities in the condition of New Jersey. Meanwhile, New Jersey features even more Muslims per capita than just about any various other states in the US.