US: Imam stabbed during morning prayer in New Jersey
By Mucahit Oktay
NEW YORK (AA) : An imam in the US state of New Jersey was stabbed during morning prayer. 32-year-old man who was arrested, was charged with first degree attempted murder.
Sayed El-Nakib, imam of the Omar Mosque in Paterson, a husband and father to three boys, was stabbed by an attacker who hid in the congregation while leading the morning prayer on Sunday, April 9. He is recovering from the wounds to his back.
The attacker, Serif Zorba, 32, was caught on the mosque’s security camera jumping over the congregation and stabbing the 65-year-old imam with a knife.
The bully was subdued by the worshipers and handed over to the police. He was also seen threatening people who tried to stop him.
Al-Nakib was taken to the Saint Joseph Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
“Zorba is charged with Attempted Murder, First Degree; Possession Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, Third Degree; and Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, Fourth Degree,” said a statement from Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office. He pleaded not guilty to an attempted murder charge in court Monday afternoon. Zorba is being held on pretrial detention.
Zorba said he is from Istanbul and came to the US a while ago and communicated with the court through a Turkish translator.
The mosque administration detailed the attack but did not mention Zorba’s motivations in a statement, adding the investigation is ongoing.
Zobra will appear in court again on Thursday.
“I am relieved to hear that Imam Sayed Elnakib is in stable condition and wish him a full and speedy recovery. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family during this difficult time,” Councilman Al Abdel-Aziz posted on his facebook.
Additional report by The Muslim News
[Map of US from CIA Factbook/Public Domain]
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