A schoolboy repeatedly stabbed outside a Birmingham mosque remained critically ill in hospital – as community leaders said they would not be divided by the attack.
The 14-year-old was in a critical but stable condition at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital after he was knifed in the head and neck outside the Idaara Maarif-e-Islam mosque in Herbert Road, Small Heath , at 1am on Saturday.
A man aged 29 was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and remained in custody on Sunday.
Members of the Mosque have claimed the stabbing was an ‘ISIS-inspired’ targeted attack because the teenager was a Shia.
The founding member of the Shia mosque, who asked not to be named, said: ‘There is no doubt that this was a targeted attack.
‘The victim might have been random, but in my mind it is clear that these people are from Daesh, and wanted to kill a Shia Muslim based on the belief that they would go to heaven.’
Another man, who claimed to be an uncle of the victim, posted a video on social media claiming the attack followed an earlier altercation between Shia worshippers and a group of ‘Salafi’ men.
Following the attack, senior officials from a number of respected Muslim groups issued a statement urging Birmingham’s communities to unite against hate.
It said: “We condemn, in the strongest terms, the knife attack.
“We offer our love and prayers for the victim and his family.
“We recognise this is a difficult time for the local community, who have many concerns about the motive behind the attack, but we urge all in our communities to remain calm while the police establish the facts.
“Let us, as representatives of Britain’s diverse Muslim communities, send a clear message to the attackers: your hatred and your actions disgust us.
“You do not represent us.
More than 50 signatories put their name to their statement, including Mohammed Kozbar, of London’s Finsbury Park Mosque, and Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation.
Anyone with information about the attack should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers, in confidence, on 0800 555 111.