Imam Nehmat Ali Shah returned to the Jamaat-e Ahl-e Sunnat mosque in Oslo’s multicultural Grønland district on Friday, just over two weeks after he was critically injured in a stabbing attack outside his home. More than 200 people gathered to attend the Friday prayer, and lingered outside with flowers, hugs and well-wishes as police kept watch.
“Thanks to Allah that I am present for the prayer today,” Shah told the crowd, reported Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “I am grateful for the support, and hope Allah rewards those who have been there for me.”
Shah was stabbed multiple times outside his home in mid-June, and was taken to hospital with critical injuries. “I was attacked from behind when I was on my way home from the mosque,” he described to the gathered media. “When I turned around, I was also attacked from the front. That’s what I remember. Later, I have handled it. Fear, worry and the whole thing.”
Police arrested a Pakistani-Norwegian man last week and charged him over the attempted murder. Despite the arrest and the police presence, the imam’s son Jawad Haider told NRK at the time he could not relax, and believed there were more people behind the assassination attempt.
“I cannot imagine that it just comes down to one person,” he said. “To me it looks like a well planned assassination attempt that was carried out.” The 38-year-old suspect was linked to Oslo gang Young Guns, and had earlier convictions for gang-related violence.