Deceased Abbas Mohammedali Essop’s wife, Sakina after the funeral said, “I can’t explain the peace I am currently feeling. his sacrifice is not in vain. Each and every Muslim group in South Africa is united for him.”
Three attackers entered Imam Hussain (AS) Masjid after midday prayers in Ottawa, Verulam, north of Durban, in KwaZulu-Natal, on Thursday, stabbed the resident alim (scholar), Sheikh Ali Nchinyani and caretaker, Mohammad Ali. The Sheikh jumped out of a second-floor window of the mosque to escape.
Abbas Mohammedali Essop was at work when he heard noises from the mosque. His wife, Sakina, said “Abbas saw caretaker of the mosque stabbed in the stomach shouting for help. Abbas went to help; two of the attackers held him, the third one slit his throat.”
Paramedics stabilized the injured men on scene before transporting them to hospital. One of the injured men, Abbas, succumbed to his injuries and died shortly after arriving at hospital.
The attack on the Shia Muslims was condemned by the Sunni organizations.
“We vehemently condemn the heinous attack on the Imam Hussain Mosque as well as the senseless crime committed against three innocent individuals,” said Shaykh Isgaak Taliep, Secretary General of Muslim Judicial Council of South Africa.
The Claremont Main Road Masjid (CMRM), based in Cape Town, condemned the attack as “barbaric”. Imam Dr Rashied Omar, of CMRM said, “We offer our deep condolences to the family of those killed, and the congregants of this mosque who no doubt are now reeling in shock and fear. The mosque was known to be a Shia mosque, and at this stage the incident appears to be an anti-Shia attack.”
“CMRM has for the past five years been sounding the alarm about the growing threat of anti-Shia sectarianism creeping into our local community. We are appalled at the prospect of this now being a reality.
“It is now most important and urgent for Muslims in South Africa to take a stand and speak out loudly against sectarianism, specifically anti-Shia sectarianism.”
“South African Muslims can in no way allow themselves to go down the path of hatred, intolerance, violence, and brutal attacks on Shia Muslims as has been the case in several other parts of the world.”
Security firm, Reaction Unit South Africa, said the attackers threw a petrol bomb inside the mosque before fleeing the scene in a vehicle with no registration plates.
The suspects fled in a white Hyundai Getz in the direction of Phoenix.
Police are now looking for a group of three men wearing half balaclavas.
The motive for the attack is not yet known.
Source: The Muslim News