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FILE PHOTO: Scenes outside Christ The Good Shepherd Church after a knife attack took place during a service on Monday night in Sydney
Police depart the Assyrian Christ The Good Shepherd Church after a knife attack took place during a service on Monday night, in Wakeley, Sydney, on Thursday. Image: Reuters/Jaimi Joy
world

Teen charged with terrorism over Sydney church stabbing

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By Renju Jose and Lewis Jackson

Thousands of Muslims gathered in mosques across Sydney for regular prayers on Friday despite concerns about retaliatory attacks after police charged a 16-year-old boy with a terrorism offense over the stabbing of a Sydney bishop earlier this week.

Police charged a 16-year-old boy with a terrorism offense on Thursday for the alleged stabbing of Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel at a church on Monday. Footage from the scene showed the boy restrained by the congregation and shouting at Emmanuel for insulting Islam.

Police said they will allege he stabbed the bishop, who is in stable condition in hospital, as many as six times. The offense carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. The boy was refused bail.

A mob of thousands descended on the church after the attack, where they clashed with police and demanded the boy be brought out to face justice.

Hours afterwards the Lakemba mosque, one of Australia's largest, received fire bomb threats.

Standing outside the mosque on Friday as worshippers streamed past, community leader Gamel Kheir said Muslim women were worried they would be singled out and those who worked for the mosque overseer had been asked to work from home for now.

"Our real fear is one of targeting women who are identifiable through their head scarves walking through the streets or shopping centers. At the moment they're scared to do that," said Kheir, secretary of the Lebanese Muslim Association, which oversees three mosques including Lakemba.

Coming only days after a mass stabbing in Bondi, the attack on Emmanuel and the possibility of reprisals have put the normally peaceful Sydney on edge. Gun and knife crime is rare in the city, one of the world's safest.

On his way to pray at the mosque on Friday, Abdul Masri, 32, told Reuters he was concerned about the possibility of further incidents.

"I don't fear, but I still worry, you know," he said.

Bishop Emmanuel on Thursday pleaded for peace and said he had forgiven his attacker in an audio message recorded in hospital.

Kheir thanked the priest for his message of forgiveness and calm.

"At the end of the day we all share the same message, we share the same land, we all share the same community."

© Thomson Reuters 2024.

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

2 Comments
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Beyond the barbarity of your hate crime, look at what you've done to your own community and faith. Stupid punk.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

If that bishop really did 'insult Islam' then it would be a violation of the Commandment 'Love thy neighbor'. IF. And if that were true, attacking him doesn't make it right. Islam has the 10 Commandments just like Christianity does.

plasticmonkeyApr. 19  08:25 pm JST

Beyond the barbarity of your hate crime, look at what you've done to your own community and faith. Stupid punk.

It's rotten enough that these cretin fanatics like ISIL, the Houthi hooligans, Hamas and the Iranian and Saudi dictatorships are giving Islam an ugly name but idiots like this guy are only making it worse for everyone concerned.

The Crusades were fanatical wars waged by greedy zealots that gave/give Christianity a disgusting name. This 'jihad' crap is no different. When is it going to stop?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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