London

London mosque stabbing victim says he forgives attacker

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionRaafat Maglad was stabbed inside London Central Mosque.

A man who was stabbed inside London Central Mosque during afternoon prayers has said he forgives his attacker.

Raafat Maglad, who is in his 70s, was treated in hospital for stab wounds to his neck after the attack on Thursday.

Returning to the mosque near Regent's Park for Friday prayers, he said he did not hate his attacker and felt sorry for him.

A 29-year-old man arrested on suspicion of attempted murder remains in police custody.

He had been apprehended by worshippers who broke from prayer to restrain him before officers arrived.

Mr Maglad, who is a muezzin at the mosque - someone who calls Muslims to prayer - told the BBC it had "felt like someone was hitting me with a brick" when he was stabbed from behind.

"I just felt blood flowing from my neck and that's it, they rushed me to the hospital. Everything happened all of a sudden," he said.

Asked why he had returned to the London Central Mosque so soon after the attack, Mr Maglad said it was "very important" for him to attend Friday prayers.

"If I miss it, I just miss something very important. It is very important for us as Muslims."

Scotland Yard said they were not treating the attack as terror-related.

Sadiq Khan joined worshippers at the mosque for Friday prayers.

Police were also present and addressing those in attendance, London's mayor urged everyone to remain vigilant.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites