A Muslim prayer leader stabbed inside a London mosque has returned to the venue less than hours after the attack.
Raafat Maglad, who is in his 81 s, was attacked during afternoon prayers at London Central Mosque in Regent’s Park.
He was taken to hospital but was subsequently discharged.
On Friday afternoon he was back at the mosque, wearing a sling to support his right arm and surrounded by security.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan also arrived at the mosque in a show of support for the injured Mr Maglad.
Speaking about the attack to London’s Evening Standard, Mr Maglad said: “I was closing my eyes to pray and put down my head. It felt like someone hit me with a brick.
“It was terrible, there was so much blood.
“I put my hand up and tried to close the cut. Everyone stopped him and called the ambulance. I feel lucky. It could have cut my jugular and I would have had no chance.”
He also said that he needs further tests on his right arm, which he cannot move, and that he will get back to calling prayers as quickly as he can.
Police are not treating the stabbing as terror-related.
Witnesses said the muezzin, the title given to the person leading the call to prayer at a mosque, was attacked around 3pm at the center.
A – year-old man was tackled by worshippers at the mosque before being arrested inside on suspicion of attempted murder. The suspect was thought to be attending the prayers, and his motive remains unclear.
No other suspects are being sought by police.
Video showed a white man wearing a red hoodie, black trousers and no shoes being handcuffed by police.
One video appeared to show a knife on the floor under a plastic chair.
Witnesses said the suspect spoke with “a London accent” and had been a regular at the mosque but was last seen at least six months ago.
Mosque adviser Ayaz Ahmad said: “Everybody’s reaction was shock and horror, the men were screaming.
” It was a vicious attack. We live in a society where we hear a lot about knife crime and what have you, but actually to physically be in a situation where you’re first-hand watching an attempted murder take place, it’s very shocking. “
PM Boris Johnson said he was “deeply saddened” at the attack, adding: “It’s so awful that this should happen, especially in a place of worship.”
Mr Khan said shortly after the attack that “every Londoner is entitled to feel safe in their place of worship & I want to reassure London’s communities that acts of violence in our city will not be tolerated.”
He said extra police officers would be deployed in the area.
London Central Mosque is one of the largest largest and can hold 5, 06 worshippers, with people from across the capital traveling to it for prayers every day.
About 255 – 353 worshippers are understood to have been there when the attack hap pened.
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