Man, 29, is charged after stabbing of Muslim prayer leader at Regent’s Park mosque

Man, 29, is charged with stabbing Muslim prayer leader at Regent’s Park mosque as victim says he ‘forgives’ attacker who plunged knife into his neck

A man has been charged after he allegedly stabbed a 70-year-old Muslim prayer leader at one of Britain’s biggest mosques.

Daniel Horton, 29, of no fixed abode, was charged with Section 18 GBH and possession of a bladed article on Friday.  

He is due to appear in custody at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Saturday. 

On Thursday afternoon police were called to The London Central mosque near Regent’s Park and found that worshippers had pinned the suspect to the ground.

Daniel Horton, 29,  was charged with Section 18 GBH and possession of a bladed article on Friday after he allegedly stabbed Raafat Maglad, 70, (pictured) at London Central Mosque

A man, aged in his 70s, was taken to hospital for treatment to stab injuries and he was discharged following treatment. 

On Friday the Muslim leader returned to the mosques with his arm in a sling less than 24 hours after being stabbed – and said he has forgiven his attacker.

Raafat Maglad, 70, collapsed when he was allegedly stabbed in the neck or shoulder by a 29-year-old man who was said to be behind him with a five-inch kitchen knife.

Amid the mayhem, 20, worshippers pinned the knifeman to the ground, while others administered first aid to Mr Maglad at the London Central Mosque.

The Metropolitan Police arrived minutes later to the mosque shortly after 3pm, and arrested the attacker on suspicion of attempted murder.

Today, Mr Maglad, who leads the call to prayer five times a day, returned to the mosque after being released this morning from a hospital’s major trauma unit.

Mr Maqlad was flanked by security at the mosque today, saying: ‘I forgive him. I feel no hatred for him, he’s a human being and what happened to me is my fate.

‘However the law must be implemented. All I can remember is someone approaching me from behind and then feeling great pain in my neck.’ 

Worshippers said the suspect had attended prayers at the mosque sporadically for the past six months and had previously been spotted acting strangely.

Mr Maglad has been the mosque’s muazzin – the person who leads and recites the call to prayer – for almost 30 years and was about to retire.

He is a senior elder at the mosque and oversaw the funeral of Dodi Fayed in 1997 following his death in a car crash in Paris with Princess Diana.  

Doctors told Mr Maglad he could not move his right arm and gave him six stiches in his neck. He asked them to discharge him early because he wanted to be at home. 

Mosque advisor Asayaz Ahmad said their morning prayer was meant to be dedicated to being good to your parents, but following the attack it changed to a focus on living in a secure society and looking out for one another.

He said: ‘There was blood everywhere, it was all over his (Mr Maglad’s) neck. They had to keep pressure on it. He discharged himself from hospital, I think he went home.

‘He is doing well, he is with his brother. We will have some 1,000 people come here in the next hour. Then there will be samosas and hot drinks and Raafat might be here.

‘There are five prayers in the day. He has been coming here to give every prayer for the last 25 to 30 years.

‘Today’s prayer was about being good to your parents but we changed it to be about living in a secure society and environment and looking out for everyone. The Imam asked the prayer to talk about it today.’