Wembley murder: Syrian imam Abdul Hadi Arwani ‘didn’t have any enemies’
PUBLISHED: 13:05 08 April 2015 | UPDATED: 17:24 08 April 2015
People visiting a mosque where a man who was shot dead in Wembley yesterday used to be the imam have spoken of their shock and said he was not a radical.
Abdul Hadi Arwani is said to have been found in a car in The Paddocks, suffering from gunshot wounds to his chest yesterday morning.
Mr Arwani was born in Syria and was a former imam at the An-noor Masjid mosque in Acton, west London.
A statement posted on the walls of the mosque, which is also a community centre, read: “We have with great sadness heard of the unfortunate death of Shaykh Abdulhadi Arwani who was the former Iman of the An Noor Culture and Community Centre who served from 2005 to 2011. He will be sadly missed.
“We send our condolences to the family, the Muslim community and friends. May Allah (SWT) forgive him and open the doors of mercy onto him.”
A worshipper outside the centre said: “Yes I knew him. He was a nice man. He worked hard.”
Another said: “We come once a month. We were shocked to hear. I haven’t seen him for a couple of years now.”
A friend said: “He was a beloved man, he used to give lectures, and teach. He was well loved in the community around here. He was a lovely man. And he wasn’t radical or anything you know, that wasn’t him. “
Another worshipper said: “He was a very good man, he was a nice man. He didn’t have any enemies in this community.”
The father-of-six is claimed to have been an outspoken critic of President Bashar Assad and is believed to have attended protests against the regime outside the Syrian embassy in London in 2012.
He graduated in Jordan and was an authority on Islamic marriage contracts and divorce law, according to the London College of Islamic Studies website.
Scotland Yard, which has not released the identity of the dead man, said detectives had an open mind about the possible motive of the shooting.
The death is being investigated by detectives from the Metropolitan Police’s Homicide and Major Crime Command.
They appealed for anyone in the area from about 10am who may have seen a dark coloured VW Passat or anything suspicious to get in touch.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact the incident room on 020 8358 0400, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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