South African Shia Mosque Attack;

South Africa Shia Mosque attack: They wanted my blood, Shia beliefs drawn scorn of Islamic extremists / Video

“They wanted to kill me. They wanted my blood.”
These are the sad words of Shia Muslim cleric Ali Nchinyane‚ who survived a knife-attack at the Imam Hussain Mosque in the eastern town of Verulam, just north of the city of Durban, South Africa on Thursday.


(AhlulBayt News Agency) - “They wanted to kill me. They wanted my blood.”

These are the sad words of Shia Muslim cleric Ali Nchinyane‚ who survived a knife-attack at the Imam Hussain Mosque in the eastern town of Verulam, just north of the city of Durban, South Africa on Thursday.

In a moment he said marked the line between life and death‚ Nchiyane grappled with one of the three men who had stormed the mosque intent on killing him.

“Whether I was the target or our building was‚ I don’t know…but I do know for certain that this was not a robbery‚ these men did not come here to steal things‚” he said.

“He said he wanted to kill me and I grabbed his knife. He shouted at me to let it go and I told him that I would let go when he unhanded me. In that moment I know he wanted to take my life‚” he recounted.

Speaking after Thursday’s attack Moulana Aftab Haider‚ the national co-ordinator of the Ahlul Bait Foundation of South Africa‚ said there was no doubt that the knife attack had been orchestrated by “terrorists”.

“This is a terrorist crime. It is an attack on the sanctity of a place of worship and‚ furthermore‚ it is the indiscriminate killing of innocent people purely based upon their religious beliefs. This has all the hallmarks of the Isis style of operation in Iraq and Syria‚” he said.

“They burn down the musjid [mosque]‚ they claim to be Muslims but they burn the most holy book of Islam – the Qur’an. This all happened when they burned the library‚” Haider said.

“They killed people in the most horrible way by cutting their throats … this are hallmark Isis.”

Haider said Thursday’s attack had been the culmination of a steadily rising hate campaign directed at the Shia denomination of the Islamic community in South Africa.

“In recent months there has been a huge and organised hate campaign on the pulpits of mosques‚ on radio stations‚ on social media against the Shia community.”

It is understood that the trio‚ dressed in traditional Muslim attire‚ had arrived at the mosque after midday prayers had drawn to a close.

The caretaker and muzzien (the man tasked with leading the call to prayer)‚ Muhammad Ali‚ had noticed the men at the gate and thinking they were coming to pray‚ let them inside.

Once in the property‚ the men attacked Ali and Nchiyane with knives before torching the mosque's library.

Mechanic Abbas Essop‚ who had responded to Ali’s screams‚ had run into the mosque. He too was attacked and with his throat slit‚ lost a large volume of blood.

He later martyred in hospital.

Ali remains in a serious condition in a Durban hospital after his attackers slashed at his midsection a blade.

Nchiyane had been stabbed in his upper body.

The moulana said that their Shia beliefs had drawn scorn of Islamic extremists‚ who disagree with the teachings of their religion.

“This was a religious attack‚ which is all that this thing was about. They wanted to kill us all [and raze the mosque] because of our beliefs‚” he added.

The attack‚ which has drawn international attention‚ has been condemned by Islamic scholars.



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