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Whitechapel murder: Victim identified as “faith healer” and father-of-three

PUBLISHED: 14:24 15 September 2015 | UPDATED: 14:25 15 September 2015

Ruqya Therapy Centre, based in a complex of small business offices in Greatorex Street

Ruqya Therapy Centre, based in a complex of small business offices in Greatorex Street

Archant

The victim of a murder in Whitechapel has been identified as a “faith healer” who was stabbed to death at a spiritual centre for treating black magic and demonic possession in East London.

Father-of-three Zakariyya Islam was killed at the Ruqya Therapy Centre in Greatorex Street.

Police and paramedics rushed to the scene yesterday evening and found the married 46-year-old suffering critical injuries.

Despite desperate attempts he could not be saved and was pronounced dead a short time later.

A 43-year-old man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder. He was treated in hospital for hand injuries and was today being questioned by detectives who recovered a knife following the attack at 6.30pm yesterday.

Mr Islam was a co-founder of the Ruqya centre, and had been treating people who believe themselves possessed by malevolent spirits and victims of “black magic” for more than a decade.

The centre, which was sealed off by police carrying out forensic searches, also offers advice on sorcery, witchcraft and the “evil eye”.

Met Police spokesman confirmed the victim and suspect were known to each other.

Mr Islam, from Mile End, was a former caretaker at Stepney Green Secondary School and a member of Islamic Forum of Europe.

Friends described him as well known in the area, as well as a devout patron of East London Mosuque.

One tweeted: “RIP Brother Zakariyya Islam who was stabbed to death today near East London Mosque. May he be granted Jannatul Firdaws”.

A waiter, who did not wish to be named, working at nearby Aladduin Sweets in Whitechapel Road, said: “I saw him about ten minutes before the incident. He was in the restaurant and had ordered an orange juice. He is very popular in the area, and grew up here.

“He is also very well known at the mosque.”

Scotland Yard said it was not looking for anyone else in connection with the killing, and a post mortem examination is scheduled to take place.

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