Update: Finsbury Park imam murdered on Friday
The man murdered in an Islington Islamic bookshop on Friday morning has been named by locals as Sheikh Maymoun Zarzour. He was blind and believed to be in his mid to late 30s.
Police have arrested a man on suspicion of murder and are not looking for anyone else in connection with the shooting.
Zarzour reportedly attended morning prayers at the Muslim Welfare House on Seven Sisters Road in Finsbury Park, which was being used as a prayer venue, before he was murdered.
Reports from the Lebanese Daily Star newspaper suggest he was strangled by an Algerian national, although no post mortem has taken place yet and police are refusing to speculate on the cause of death or the alleged murderer’s state of mind.
The LNN reports that Zarzour “was an Islamist activist and was an Imam at a mosque in Britain.” They also quote the Gama’a al-Islamiya organisation, which claims that Zarzour was one of their members.
According to the American Council on Foreign Relations, Gama’a al-Islamiya “is a radical group that seeks to install an Islamic regime in place of the secular Egyptian government.” It adds that the group’s Egypt-based leadership renounced violence in 1997.
Although Gama’a al-Islamiya has not claimed responsibility for any terrorist attacks since the 1997 ceasefire, it did split into two internal factions. One of these factions has publicly declared support for al-Qaeda, whilst the other supports an Egyptian political party.
All prayers scheduled to take place at the Muslim Welfare House have been transferred to the North London Central Mosque (Finsbury Park Mosque) with immediate effect. Police officers from the Homicide and Serious Crimes Command are investigating the murder.
Image via Ben Sutherland, Flickr.