Arfan Bhatti, the former gang member-turned-Islamist, had changed his appearance once again when he appeared back in an Oslo city courtroom on Monday, charged with beating his children.
Gone was the long beard he’s sported as an Islamic fundamentalist in recent years, reported news bureau NTB, along with his religious garments. He showed up in court with slicked-back hair and wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt, jeans, and a cap.
Bhatti, who now refuses to let the media take his picture, answered questions from the judge in a low voice and said he now supports himself by driving a delivery truck in Oslo. He admitted to hitting two of his three children in connection with their reciting of the Koran, but he denied breaking Norway’s laws against beating children.
He’s charged with striking his six-year-old son and eight-year-old daughter repeatedly in the face, the head and the back while he listened to them read from the Koran. He was immediately arrested upon his return to Norway in January, after having spent the past two years in the Middle East and in a Pakistani prison, convicted of having had contact with the Taliban.