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Muhammad Rafiq (retired army)

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Muhammad Rafiq
 Edit this InfoBox
Born1954 (1954) (age 65)
Baptised1954 (1954) (age 65)
Died
ResidenceNorway
NationalityPakistani
Other names
Alma mater
OccupationOfficer of the Pakistan Air Force (retired)
Agent
Known forStopping Bærum mosque shooting attacker
Salary
Spouse(s)
Children
Awards
Website

Mohammad Rafiq is a retired Pakistani Air Force officer and a survivor of the Bærum mosque shooting,[1][2][3][4] of which he is notable for preventing the perpetrator from committing the attack.

Bærum mosque shooting[edit]

During the attack at the Al-Noor Islamic Center in Bærum, Rafiq responded to the gunman shooting at the two other men in the building. The gunman was armed with two "shotgun-like" weapons and a pistol before Rafiq pinned him down and moved the weapons away. He held the gunman in a chokehold until police arrived, sustaining injuries when the gunman tried to free himself by gouging one of Rafiq's eyes. One of the other men hit the gunman in the head to stop him from trying to break free.[5][citation needed]

As the shooting spread in media, so did Rafiq's actions, which a Danish newspaper described as "courageous";[6] several media outlets, primarily in Norway but also some foreign ones, described him as a "hero".[7][8][9][10][11] Among the reactions to the incident was a speech given by Siv Jensen, the leader of the right-wing Progress Party, normally considered anti-immigration, who also referred to Rafiq as a hero.[12]

Rafiq attended the solidarity Eid al-Adha celebration in Sandvika held the day following the attack, along with figures including Prime Minister Erna Solberg.[13][14][15][16][17]

Personal life[edit]

Rafiq migrated to Norway in 2017 after he retired from the Pakistani Air Force. He is a frequent visitor to Al-Noor Islamic Center in Bærum and is called 'grandpa' by the worshipers there.[18] He had previously had an operation on his left eye, the eye that was injured in the fight with the attacker.[19]

Public support and state ceremony[edit]

A Norwegian philanthropist, Elisabeth Norheim, started a fundraising campaign[20] on a Norwegian crowdfunding website [21] to help raise money so Rafiq and the other man who helped subdue the attack could undertake the hajj. After the initial goal of 55,000 NOK (~ 6100 USD) for the cost of the two to travel was surpassed,[22][23] with more than 180,000 NOK (~20,000 USD) raised in one day, the organizers said they could also fund the hajj for the third man in the mosque during the attack.[19]. The fund raised was later passed the adjusted goal of 230,000 NOK (~25,000 USD).[21]

On 15 August 2019, a ceremony was held at the Sandvika Police House to praise Rafiq and the other man for their actions.[24][25] It was hosted by Beate Gangås, the Oslo Police Commander-in-Chief, and Lisbeth Hammer Krogh, the mayor of Bærum.[25]

National Broadcaster NRK stated that the two men, particularly Rafiq, received a lot of coverage in English-language media, though only named Complex magazine as an example.[26]

References[edit]

  1. "Norway shooting hero tells of tackling gunman". BBC News. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  2. "Mohamed Rafiq (65) stoppet gjernings­mannen i Bærum". Fædrelandsvennen. Retrieved 12 August 2019. soft hyphen character in |title= at position 37 (help)
  3. Solberg, Stig Martin. "Islamsk Råd Norge klandrer norske myndigheter". Nettavisen (in norsk). Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  4. Pancevski, Bojan. "Man Arrested in Norway Mosque Attack Expressed Anti-Immigrant Views". WSJ. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  5. Steinsland, Karianne; Craig, Elin Reffhaug (11 August 2019). "To pensjonister i moskeen stanset skytteren". www.budstikka.no (in norsk). Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  6. Taudal, Uffe (12 August 2019). "Mohammed Rafiq er Norges nye helt – men ikke alle er begejstrede". Berlingske.dk (in dansk). Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  7. "65-åring stoppet siktede: – Glad for den støtten og hjelpen jeg har fått". www.vg.no (in norsk bokmål). Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  8. "Worshipper, 65, takes down mosque gunman before he can kill anyone". The Independent. 11 August 2019.
  9. "65-årige Mohammed stoppede norsk moské-angreb: 'Han er en helt'". DR (in dansk). Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  10. "Rafiq (65) stoppet siktede: – Han er en helt". www.abcnyheter.no (in norsk). 11 August 2019. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  11. "https://www.irn.no/2019/08/11/2736/". Islamsk Råd Norge (in norsk bokmål). 11 August 2019. Retrieved 12 August 2019. External link in |title= (help)
  12. "Jensen: – Mohamed Rafiq er en ekte helt". www.abcnyheter.no (in norsk). 13 August 2019. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  13. "Erna Solberg etter moskéskytingen i Bærum: – Norge skal være trygt". www.vg.no (in norsk bokmål). Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  14. "Two Men Took Down A Gunman Allegedly Attempting A Terrorist Attack At Their Mosque". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  15. Henden, Amalie (11 August 2019). "Norway mosque shooting: Everything we know as shooting probed as terror act". Express.co.uk. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  16. "Shooting at Norway mosque investigated as 'possible act of..." Reuters. 11 August 2019. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  17. Reuters, Thomson. "Meet the retiree who tackled a gunman in a Norwegian mosque". Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  18. AS, TV 2. "Eks-soldaten Rafiq (65) stanset gjerningsmannen". TV 2 (in norsk bokmål). Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  19. 19.0 19.1 "Har samlet inn over 130.000 kroner til heltene i moskeen". Aftenposten (in norsk bokmål). Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  20. AS, TV 2. "Hindret moske-angrepet - nå samles det inn penger for sende dem til Mekka". TV 2 (in norsk bokmål). Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  21. 21.0 21.1 "Pilgrimsreise til Mekka". www.spleis.no (in norsk). Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  22. "Har samlet inn over 130.000 kroner til heltene i moskeen". Aftenposten (in norsk bokmål). Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  23. Dahl, Nils Johan (13 August 2019). "Samler inn penger til pilegrimsreise for moskéheltene". www.budstikka.no (in norsk). Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  24. Dahl, Nils Johan (15 August 2019). "(+) – Det kan ikke være tvil om at innsatsen deres har reddet liv". www.budstikka.no (in norsk). Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  25. 25.0 25.1 Zondag, Martin H. W. (16 August 2019). "Heltene etter moskéangrepet hedret: – Var med på å forhindre at liv gikk tapt". NRK (in norsk bokmål). Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  26. "Worshipers Stop Mosque Attack in Norway by Wrestling Gunman to Ground". Complex. Retrieved 16 August 2019.


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