A Paterson man has been arrested and charged for stabbing a 65-year-old imam who was leading a prayer service Sunday morning at a Passaic County mosque, according to prosecutors.

32-year-old Sherif Zorba is charged with attempted murder and related weapons charges.

Zorba allegedly stabbed the imam more than once before being subdued by worshippers, who kept him from fleeing the scene. Police arrived and took the victim to the local hospital. 

Paterson Councilman Al Abdel-aziz identified the victim as Sayed Elnakib and said he is in stable condition.

“I was deeply saddened to hear about the stabbing incident that took place during prayer at Omar’s mosque earlier this morning, and my heart goes out to everyone affected by this tragic event,” he wrote on Facebook. “As a community, it is important that we come together to support one another and denounce all forms of hate and violence.”

The prosecutor’s office is still investigating and gave no motive behind the violent incident. 

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