Muslim leader shot outside religious hall by suspected Isis supporters in Sydney

Rasoul Al Mousawi was shot with pellets in the early hours of Monday

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The Independent Online

An Iraqi Shia Muslim leader was shot outside a religious hall in Sydney by suspected Isis supporters.

Rasoul Al Mousawi was shot in the face and shoulder with pellets as he locked up the building at around 1.15am of Monday morning, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The 47-year-old had been observing the first day of Ashura at Husainiyah Nabi Akram centre in the south-west area of Greenacre. The 10-day holy ritual commemorates the death of Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad.

Witnesses dragged him back into the hall and delivered first aid until paramedics arrived. He underwent surgery today, but his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

The newspaper reported that witnesses claimed a number of people had driven past the building just hours before. They had chanted in Arabic: “Isis is coming” and “Isis will stay”.

 

Jamal Daoud, a well-known member of Sydney’s Shia community, said “extremists” and “supporters of Isis” had been targeting those attending the centre for worship.

He said: “These people have been conducting a campaign of intimidation for the past few weeks. I talk to many of the people in the community, and they're very concerned and they're very scared.”

Isis, which is made up of Sunni jihadists, has killed scores of Shia Muslims and Christians across Iraq and Syria as it attempts to establish a caliphate.

Inspector David Firth, from the Bankstown Local Area Command, said the shooting was being investigated.

“At this point in time it does not appear that there is any type of motivation for the shooting and ... we're following further lines of inquiry and speaking to witnesses to establish a motive for the offence,” he said.