Father of Teen Suspected in Church Stabbing Breaks Silence

Anxieties about possible retaliation, the father of the adolescent accused of stabbing Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel spent the night at Sydney’s most prominent mosque upon hearing of the crime.

Allegedly, at about 7 o’clock on Monday, in front of parishioners and those viewing the service online, a 16-year-old—who cannot be identified for legal reasons—committed the stabbing assault.

As many as two thousand people erupted in violent demonstrations after the stabbing, with others allegedly yelling that the adolescent was worthless.

According to Mr. Kheir, the father confided in him that his kid had been “disobedient” as of late, but that didn’t mean he had been radicalized. Further, Mr. Kheir maintained that, from his perspective, this was not a religious but a mental health problem.

Imam Sheikh Yahya Safi of the Lakemba Mosque condemned the assault on Tuesday, and the Lebanese Muslim Association released a video of his remarks, saying it was against their religion and was a childish act.

No charges have been filed against the suspected attacker, a 16-year-old with a record of knife offenses.

On Wednesday, Commissioner Webb told ABC Radio that the perpetrator would likely stay in the hospital for a few more days while he was under police supervision.

She said that although the event fulfilled the requirements to be classified as an act of terrorism, giving police more extraordinary powers, the teen’s potential prosecution for terrorist offenses was still up in the air.

Following the stabbing at the Assyrian Christian church and the subsequent heavy media attention and threats of retaliation attacks on Islamic religious centers, the teenager’s family has abandoned their home.