Community says Verulam mosque attack an act of terror

The Verulam community is reeling after three worshippers were stabbed on Thursday, with one victim having died from his wounds.

FILE: Police outside at the Imam Hussain Mosque near Verulam following an attack on the complex. Picture: Ziyanda Ngcobo/EWN

DURBAN - Family members, residents and some sections within the Islamic community maintain the attack on the Imam Husain Mosque was an act of terror and have called on the South African government to ensure this does not happen again.

The Verulam community is reeling after the barbaric attack on three worshippers who were stabbed on Thursday.

Abbas Essop succumbed to his wounds after having his throat slit while Muhammad Ali remains in hospital.

Imam Ali Nchinyane survived the ordeal and describes Essop as a martyr who has achieved the greatest victory.

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The family has also dismissed speculation that the attackers were from Egypt.

Verulam residents have told Eyewitness News that the Imam Husain Mosque is not only one of the few Shia mosques in KwaZulu-Natal, but it was progressive in how it approaches women’s rights and gender equality.

The Hawks have also said the crime has elements of extremism which they are now investigating.

Meanwhile, the family of Essop has described their loved ones caring nature.

“He was the type of the person that would give his life for the weak. He resented bullies and that’s exactly what he did,” says his brother Farouk Essop.

Afzaal Sayed, who was one of the first on the scene after the attack, has made a plea to the South African government.

“We are looking forward to government to taking this seriously. We want peace.”

Abbas Essop was buried last night as per Islamic burial rites.