660 donors have so far donated over NOK 134,000 to the men who stopped Philip Manshaus when he entered the Al-Noor Islamic Centre mosque on Saturday.
The goal of the collection at Spleis is to send Mohamed Rafiq and Mohamed Iqbal on a pilgrimage to Mecca. In addition, a third hero is mentioned who ran for help.
“We shine peace on the memory of the terrorist’s victim Johanne Zhangjia Ihle-Hansen, 17, and also want to show solidarity with the uncles who averted there being more victims. They deserve only the very best,” writes Elisabeth Norheim, who is behind the collection.
In the aftermath of the attack, 65-year-old Mohamed Rafiq’s heroism has been hailed, among others by FRP leader Siv Jensen.
Mohamed Rafiq is a real hero. He stopped a terror attack that could have had fatal consequences. You should know that Norway is grateful for your heroic efforts, Jensen said when she gave a party lecture at the Literature House (Litteraturhuset) in Oslo on Tuesday afternoon.
To TV 2, which first mentioned the collection, Rafiq’s son says that his father who is retired from the Pakistan Air Force was close by when Manshaus came in.
There was a scuffle, and Dad managed to put him on the ground. He says he suddenly got a lot of power and strength. Actually, he had fasted that day, so his body did not have much energy. He was on his own before the others came and helped, he says.
Rafiq got help from Iqbal who beat the perpetrator. According to NRK, the scuffle was supposed to have been around 20 minutes before the police arrived.
A third hero
In an update on the collection on Wednesday morning, Norheim writes that she has been in contact with Imam Syed Mohammad Ashraf who thanked for the support on behalf of the two men, and at the same time asked if a young man who was also at the mosque during the attack and who ran after help, could be included in the collection. The collector has agreed to this.
“The Imam praised the young man’s courage and pointed out how important his efforts were. This young man has never been on a pilgrimage, and the Imam thought it would mean a lot to him to travel with his uncles,” Norheim writes.
According to the Aftenposten, there were only three people in the mosque when the defendant entered the building and started shooting. Only 10 minutes earlier, 15 people were there.
In Islam, pilgrimage to Mecca is one of the five pillars and one of the greatest things one can do. According to the initiator of the collection such a trip, over three weeks, will cost about NOK 55,000 per person.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today