This is the pensioner who was set on fire after leaving a Birmingham mosque where he had gone to pray.
Mohammed Rayaz, 70, was doused with an unknown substance and set on fire in nearby Shenstone Road on Monday, moments after leaving the nearby Dudley Road Mosque, where he is a regular worshipper.
Mr Rayaz, a retired factory worker, is being treated in hospital for severe burns to his chest, face and arms and his relatives tell MailOnline he is in “extreme pain” and cannot open his eyes .
His nephew Hamza Rayaz, 27, said: ‘I went to visit him and he looks very bad. He can’t talk much and he can’t see anything at all. He is wrapped in many bandages and we are just praying that he recovers and that there are no lasting effects from this horrible attack.
“We do not want to reveal the name of the hospital where he is being treated, but my uncle is in the intensive care unit and is well cared for. We are all praying for him.
The attack came exactly three weeks after a similar incident 120 miles away in Ealing, when another devotee, 82, was torched after being followed outside the West London Islamic Centre. He was taken to the hospital to receive treatment for severe burns to his face and arms.
Mohammed Rayaz, 70, was doused with an unknown substance and set on fire in the attack
Mr. Rayaz, a retired factory worker, is being treated at the hospital for severe burns to his chest, face and arms.
Rayaz has two children and lives with one of them near where the attack occurred.
On Tuesday, a man was arrested by anti-terror police a few meters from the place where Rayaz was attacked.
According to the sources, he approached Rayaz and asked: ‘Do you speak Arabic?’ to which the pensioner replied, ‘I only speak Punjabi.’
Seconds later they set it on fire.
The man was detained after he was seen at the Dudley Road Mosque on Tuesday afternoon by an eyewitness who immediately alerted the police and members of the local community, who descended in large numbers to arrest him, told MailOnline. .
The attack on Mr. Rayaz was graphically captured on CCTV camera and has caused panic in the local community with police stepping up patrols.
The video shows the apparent victim talking to a man. It then shows him being set on fire.
Video shared on social media appears to show a man being set on fire by another man in Edgbaston, Birmingham, on Monday.
A local businessman told MailOnline: ‘I got a phone call saying the man who attacked Uncle Rayaz was at the mosque. I ran there and was one of the first people to help stop him.
‘This is a disgusting attack and I hope the man who did it is duly punished. We are very shocked by all this.
Shahbo Hussain, a local lawyer who acts as a spokesperson for the Rayaz family and the local community, said: “We are all very upset and angry about what happened, but it is positive that the police took immediate action and responded to this attack very seriously. “. .
“This attack was addressed by the UK counter-terrorism unit and we have been meeting with them regularly. The entire community is united in condemning what happened, our priority right now is to support Mr. Rayaz and his family.”
Speaking at the scene earlier today, Labor MP Shabana Mahmood, who represents Birmingham, Ladywood, said she had spoken to the victim on a video call.
She said: ‘I have known the victim and her family for many years.
“I have worked very closely with the victim’s son in particular in the local area.
“We often exchange WhatsApp messages, so I wasn’t surprised to see this.
However, what I read was completely shocking. It said ‘my dad has been set on fire’.
Dudley Road Mosque in Edgbaston, Birmingham, England
“I didn’t know how to process the text, at first I thought they were talking about a car on fire and then when I read it again it took me a whole 10 minutes to think before I knew how to respond.” this.
Yesterday I was able to make a video call with the victim and I will see her later at the hospital.
He is such a well known and loved member of our community and it is very upsetting to see him blindfolded without being able to use or move his hands and he can’t see anything at the moment because his eyes are so swollen. .
“As we know, he has very serious injuries to his face.
“He was able to speak and the first thing he said was ‘thank you to the community for helping him and helping the police with their investigations and getting an arrest so quickly.'”
“It was a true testament to his character and he wasn’t thinking about himself even though he was in immense pain.
‘I just wanted to thank everyone for their help.
“It was very upsetting to see him like this on the video call, especially someone who is usually so full of life.
‘I hope to see him today and support him until the end.
‘There has been a great outpouring of love and affection towards the victim and the victim’s family.
‘They are known in the area and people are coming together to support and care for them.
“The family is very touched by the way everyone helped and collected the evidence for the police and we were able to follow the attacker’s movements minute by minute, which must be very helpful to the police as they continue their investigation.”
It comes as Muslim leaders said they fear gruesome attacks on the two men who were torched could trigger attacks by sick copycats.
Anti-Terror Police are investigating links to similar attacks in Birmingham and Ealing, west London, on February 27.
Police have arrested a man (pictured) on suspicion of attempted murder after an elderly worshiper was set on fire as he walked home from a mosque on Monday.
Mohammed Khalil, 68, who has lived on the road for 46 years, said: ‘I didn’t know the
victim fine, but when we passed each other on the street, he was always a lovely guy.
“I would say he was about 70 years old.
‘I have lived on this road for 46 years with my wife and nothing bad has ever happened to me here before.
‘Since the incident, everyone lives in fear.
‘How do we know that there aren’t more people going to do it or that another attack is planned?’
Police released a CCTV image of a suspect in the London mosque incident
Masher Hussain, 66, said: “I have known him (the victim) for 50 years.
‘We met working in a chicken factory over 30 years ago and have kept in touch ever since.
He is a good man and I run into him from time to time on the street.
‘What happened to him was very bad.
“I think he’s fine and on the mend, but I don’t feel safe around here anymore.”
Jan Smith, 72, who lives next door to the victim, said: “What happened was very shocking and disturbing.
“But this is a very tight-knit community, and everyone always helps each other out.
‘I’ve lived here my whole life and I’m very proud of our community and how we come together.’
Another resident, who did not want to be named, said: “There is a genuine fear among people that copycats will do this.”
“In a video I have seen, it appears that the attacker appeared to have picked up a phone and taken a picture of the man on fire.
‘If that’s the case, then I’m afraid this is going to start some horrible online craze.
‘You already have people kicking in doors for TikTok videos, what’s next? Set Muslims on fire and film them burning?
‘I just hope that the knight who was attacked is alright. It must have been terrifying for him.
Police arrested a man on suspicion of attempted murder Tuesday afternoon.
Chief Superintendent Richard North said: “The victim was returning from the mosque on Dudley Road, walking in a public place on Shenstone Road, when the suspect approached him.
The suspect sprayed some type of substance on the victim’s coat and essentially set it on fire.
“As a result, he suffered really serious injuries and was taken to the hospital.
“I am pleased to say that even though those injuries were very serious, he is in stable condition and is not believed to be life-threatening.”