US Imam stabbed in mosque during dawn prayer
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New Jersey – An imam was stabbed on Sunday while leading Fajr(dawn) prayers at a masjid in Paterson, New Jersey by a man apprehended by worshippers after the act.

Footage from a Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) showed the man in a hoodie make a quick move from the third row of the congregation to stab Imam Sayed Elnakib who was in prostration.

According to the local officials, the imam is now in stable condition and is being treated for a “punctured lung” and is expected to make a full recovery.

“Imam Elnakib was stabbed during the first prayer of the day, around 5:30 am, at Omar Mosque in south Paterson while the congregation was kneeling for prayer.

“The suspect lunged forward with a knife and stabbed Imam Sayed multiple times – at least twice,” said the spokesperson of the Masjid, Abdul Hamdan.

The suspect has since been handed over to the police for investigations and prosecution.

According to a news release from the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, Serif Zorba, 32, the suspect was charged with first-degree attempted murder, third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and fourth-degree unlawful possession of a weapon.

Zorba, a native of Istanbul, however, pleaded not guilty to the unlawful possession of weapon charges. His plea was entered Monday by a public defender on Zorba’s behalf.

Paterson — a city with a population of more than 150,000, is home to one of the largest Muslim communities in the state of New Jersey. Meanwhile, New Jersey has more Muslims per capita than any other state in the US.

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