Jihad Watch

Story of ‘Islamophobic’ Attack on New Jersey Imam Takes a Surprising Twist

230410141721 serif zorba mugshot

New in PJ Media:

It happened early on Sunday morning. The imam Sayed Elnakib was leading the pre-sunrise fajr prayer at Omar Mosque in South Paterson, N.J., when suddenly everything went tragically wrong. According to a Sunday CNN report, mosque spokesperson Abdul Hamdan recounted that in the middle of the prayers, a man “lunged forward with a knife and stabbed Imam Sayed multiple times – at least twice.” One of his lungs was punctured. The CNN story went on to speak about hate crimes and “anti-Muslim prejudices,” and the implication was clear: “Islamophobia” had come to South Paterson. It was a perfect story for the Left’s narrative — at least until the suspect was apprehended.

The story got big play in Pakistan, where what CNN implied was spelled out explicitly and insistently. The Pakistani publication The Current ran the headline: “Islamophobia? Imam stabbed while leading Fajr prayers in American mosque.” Another Pakistani news outlet, The News International, was far more certain, calling the attack “yet another Islamophobic incident.” Pakistan Observer went with “yet another act of Islamophobia.” In America, however, there was scant coverage, and claims that this was an “Islamophobic hate crime” were muted, as in CNN’s report.

Even CNN didn’t run wholeheartedly with the “Islamophobia” angle. It included in its report Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh saying that a suspect had been caught, but that “their motive is not clear.” He did not, of course, mean that there were multiple suspects. He was just bowing to today’s fashionable torture of pronouns. South Paterson Councilman Al Abdel-aziz added, “While it is unclear what motivated the attacker, there is no justification for violence of any kind, especially in a sacred space.” CNN also noted that the New Jersey chapter of the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations “called for a hate crime investigation after a separate incident in Paterson,” but strikingly, not in connection with the stabbing of Imam Elnakib.

If this had really been an “Islamophobic” attack, the outcry would have been full-throated, with nothing about the motive being unclear. The reason for all this reticence became clear when the suspect was apprehended. The attacker turned out to be not an “Islamophobe,” much less one of those elusive “white supremacist terrorists” that the Biden regime keeps telling us constitute the biggest terror threat the nation faces today, but a Muslim named Serif Zorba. According to a Tuesday report on, Zorba explained to the police that “he planned the attack the night prior at his home on his own due to his disagreeing with the mosque and its leader collecting money in the name of Islam.”

There is more. Read the rest here.