‘I can’t bear the thought of seeing my husband like this’: Wife of 70-year-old retiree who set fire as he left a mosque reveals she ‘hasn’t found the courage to visit him in hospital’ after attack
- Mohammed Rayaz, 70, was doused with an unknown substance and set on fire
- His wife was distraught by the Birmingham attack and has not seen it.
The wife of a pensioner who was set on fire after leaving a Birmingham mosque has revealed she was so distraught by the attack that she has not been able to visit him in hospital.
Mohammed Rayaz, 70, was doused with an unknown substance and set on fire on Monday night moments after leaving the Dudley Road mosque, where he is a regular worshipper.
He is receiving treatment in the intensive care unit of a city hospital after sustaining severe burns to his face, hands and chest. She cannot open her eyes, has limited hearing and underwent a skin graft operation and doctors describe her condition as “severe but stable”.
Speaking for the first time, his wife Rifat Bibi told MailOnline: “It’s too much for me, I am completely devastated and fear my husband has suffered life changing injuries.”
‘I haven’t been able to find the courage to visit him in hospital. We had a video call but I couldn’t even look at it. He was too upset to speak. He is covered in bandages, he can’t see anything and can barely hear. I just don’t understand how someone could do something like that to him.
Mohammed Rayaz, 70, (pictured) was doused with an unknown substance and set on fire on Monday night moments after leaving Dudley Road Mosque, Birmingham
Speaking for the first time, Mr Rayaz’s (pictured) wife, Rifat Bibi, told MailOnline: “It’s too much for me, I am completely devastated and fear my husband has sustained life-changing injuries.”
Video shared on social media appeared to show a man being set on fire by another man in Edgbaston, Birmingham, on Monday.
She added: ‘Since the attack I haven’t even left my house. My children take turns at their bedside, but I will not visit them. I can’t bear the thought of seeing my husband like this.
West Midlands Police said 28-year-old Mohammed Abbkr, from Edgbaston in Birmingham, will appear at Birmingham Magistrates Court on Thursday.
A West Midlands Police spokesperson said: ‘We are continuing to ask anyone with CCTV, doorbell footage or video footage who can assist in our investigation to send this to us directly.
‘This was a joint investigation between West Midlands Police, Anti-Terrorism Police and the Metropolitan Police.
Mr Rayaz, 70, is a regular worshiper at Dudley Road Mosque (pictured) in Edgbaston, Birmingham
West Midlands Police on Brixham Road in Birmingham on Tuesday, following the previous day’s attack.
A general view of Brixham Road in Edgbaston, Birmingham, following the attack outside the mosque.
Anti-terror police arrested a man on suspicion of attempted murder on Wednesday after a Muslim man was set on fire after leaving a mosque.
Footage showed the suspect being detained by officers on Dudley Road in Edgbaston, Birmingham, after the pensioner in his 70s was doused with an unknown substance and set on fire in nearby Shenstone Road on Monday.
The victim is understood to have been praying in front of a suspect described as ‘Somali’ by fellow worshipers.
Rifat Bibi said Mr. Rayaz continued to be in “extreme pain” and had no idea when he would return home.
She added: ‘I am getting a lot of comfort from spending time with my grandchildren. Many people have been visiting me at home to see how I am and to ask about my husband.
“We have many friends and relatives in this area and they have all been supporting us.”
A statement from the West London Islamic Center said it was “relieved” that a suspect had been arrested over the London and Birmingham attacks, which it described as “abhorrent” and “malicious”.
It added: ‘Mr Hashi is recovering from his ordeal with his family and is in good spirits. He has been visited by members of the Center’s management and the congregation, and they have presented him with gifts and messages of recovery.’