Muslim man set on fire near mosque in UK’s Birmingham city, one arrested
On February 27, another man was set ablaze in West London after he exited a mosque.
A Muslim man was set on fire near a mosque in United Kingdom’s Birmingham city on Monday, reported The Telegraph.
The police arrested a man on suspicion of attempted murder the next day.
The accused person had approached the victim, a man in his 70s, as he exited the mosque on Dudley Road. The two spoke before the accused man sprayed an “unknown substance” on the victim and set him on fire.
This is the second such attack in less than a month. On February 27, an 82-year-old man was set on fire after he left a mosque in West London, reported the BBC.
The similarities in the attacks have prompted the counter-terror police to get involved in the case, according to The Telegraph.
Chief Superintendent Richard North, a commander in the Birmingham Police, said that his department is working with the Metropolitan Police in Greater London to see if these two incidents are connected.
“I have had meetings today with colleagues from the Metropolitan Police and they are engaged in the inquiry,” North said. “We are working very much closely together. We are keeping an open mind to the motive of the attacker and we won’t speculate further at this stage.”
In the Birmingham case, members of the mosque said they had spotted a man in the congregation who stood out because “he was not praying and was sitting in the wrong direction”.
One of the members, Sahir Aziz Adam, said he approached the man and greeted him with a traditional Arabic greeting but the man did not respond. After he left the building, Adam said he had called the police.
Residents of the area told the BBC that they helped put out the flames and carry the victim to his home, where he was treated by paramedics.
The victim was then taken to hospital and his injuries have been described as serious but not life-threatening, according to the British broadcaster. The police said the victim is stable.
Tayyab Riaz, the victim’s nephew, said everyone was “very upset at the shocking news”.
“For 35 years he’s been going to that mosque to pray and there’s never been a problem,” he added. “Suddenly this happens. His hair, beard and eyebrows are badly burnt. We’re praying he’s okay.”