Crime & the Law

Victim of Wembley shooting murder believed to be former Imam and critic of Syrian President Assad

Former Imam Abdul Hadi Arwani.  Image: UHISOC

Imam Abdul Hadi Arwani. Image: UHISOC

The man found slumped shot dead in a Volkswagen Passat in Wembley yesterday morning is believed to be a former Imam and critic of the Syrian Assad regime.

Although not named by the Metropolitan Police, social media and news sites have identified the victim as 48 year old and father of six Sheikh Abdul Hadi Arwani.

Police were called to reports of a man suffering what were believed to be gunshot injuries to his chest at 11.15 yesterday morning in Greenhill, at the junction with The Paddocks.

Murder victim found sitting in a car at the junction of The Paddocks and Greenhill in Wembley. Image: Google Satellite

Murder victim found sitting in a car at the junction of The Paddocks and Greenhill in Wembley. Image: Google Satellite

The Met Police say he was pronounced dead at the scene around half an hour later and a post-mortem examination is to be carried out.

Scotland Yard said next of kin had been informed and that they knew the identity of the dead man.

They said: ‘At this very early stage detectives retain an open mind regarding the possible motive.’

It’s been reported that Mr Arwani was born in Syria and was a former Imam at the An-noor Masjid mosque in Acton, west London.

He has been described as 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.

Tributes have been paid to him on social media.

The London College of Islamic Studies website states that ‘Sheikh Abdul Arwani’ graduated in Jordan and was an authority on Islamic marriage contracts and divorce law:

The Sheikh graduated with a B.A. Hons from the Faculty of Shariah in Jordan and specialises in the field of Quran, Usool Al Fiqh and Fiqh. He is a specialist in Hanafi Fiqh and has taught Al Ikhtiyaar and Nur Al Idah over the last 3 years in concentrated study circles based in Slough and West London. The Ustadh is currently the Imam of Masjid Al Noor in Acton and teaches extensively on shariah degree programme at other institutes.

Jihad Kader who described himself as ‘a close family friend’ posted this obituary and tribute on his Facebook page:

Sheikh Abdulhadi Arwani was martyred this morning as many of you are aware, shot in Wembley.

I was fortunate enough to have him as one of my teachers and was also a close family friend, always there to help and ever so humble. He was so active, never turning down the opportunity to be involved in good. He was the most optimistic person I ever met, a real inspiration. He tried to encourage the Sunnah and was always keen to practice it. He talked highly of martydom and Allah granted it to him.

Just a reminder that this is what he would have wanted us to be like, active and optimistic. Spread his knowledge and any useful information you have of his. Keep him and his family in your duah.

انا لله و انا اليه راجعون

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 10 am who may have seen a dark coloured VW Passat or anything suspicious to get in touch.

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