Bullet holes, glass shards and blood on the rugs in the prayer room are still visible after the attack on Al-Noor Mosque last Saturday. The mosque will preserve of some of the traces.
The glass shards, after terror and murder-accused Philip Manshaus (21) shot his way in through the back door of Al-Noor Islamic Centre’s mosque in Bærum were still about eight meters into the hallway when the press was allowed into the mosque one week after the attack.
Police had finished their investigations at the premises by Tuesday afternoon, but it is still unclear when the mosque will be able to be used again as usual.
The carpet in the hallway is torn in several places. There are blood stains on a larger area in the prayer room, on the lectern and at the main entrance that testify to the scuffle inside the building after the 21-year-old from Eiksmarka in Bærum entered.
Board member and former chief executive Irfan Mushtaq says the congregation wants to be open and showcase the mosque after what happened.
That it has happened here of all places, it has made me have many thoughts, he says.
Mushtaq quickly came to the mosque during the incident after being called by one of the members who were there. He has explained that he, together with 65-year-old Mohamed Rafiq, tied the 21-year-old up before police arrived.
Last Saturday, fortunately, few people were present at the mosque, but bullet holes show that shots were also released inside the prayer room. Some of them at a doorway just off the glass door where Manshaus shot his way in.
At another bullet hole, it is clear that the bullets have passed through the wall in the prayer room and into the hallway on the other side. The bullets have hit a coat rack where a peg is bent, and there are bits of plasterboard and tapestry on the floor. The traces of the bullets, which went through the wall, and ended up in the ceiling, indicated that the shots may have been fired from below.
In total, there are visible traces of four or five shots in the mosque, says chief Hafeez Ahmed to NTB. He says the week after the incident has been tough, but the congregation is happy with all the support and help they have received from many people in recent days.
We have not been left alone after what happened. It has been good to see that society works, he says.
Will preserve traces
Last Saturday he was at home with his parents at Gjettum in Bærum when he received a phone call from a board member in the congregation stating that there was a shooting. Then he drove to the scene.
We arrived almost at the same time as the police and got to see how they worked, he says.
The police have explained that because of language problems they spent too much time there. Ahmed, however, believes that once the police were in place, they did a good job.
The congregation is now considering what is to be done with the bullet holes on the walls and the blood traces on the carpets, Ahmed explains. They do not want what happened to be forgotten.
One week after what happened, the Al-Noor leader’s thoughts go to the Muslim community, but also to the family of the murder and terror-accused 21-year-old.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today