Muslim exorcist murdered at ‘voodoo’ healing center in East London

© Toby Melville
A Muslim exorcist was stabbed to death at a voodoo therapy center where he worked in East London on Monday. Although police and paramedics rushed to save him, his injuries were so serious he died at the scene.

Zakariyya Islam, 46, was discovered with multiple stab wounds at the Ruqyah Therapy Centre in Greatorex Street on Monday evening. Police found a knife close to the scene of the murder.

A 43-year-old man was arrested shortly after the attack and police are not searching for any other suspects. The suspect had injuries to his hand for which he received hospital treatment and is now in custody.

Friends of Islam have suggested he may have been killed by a psychologically-disturbed patient who thought he or she was possessed by demonic spirits.

Islam often dealt with those who believed they were possessed by evil spirits or ‘Jinns’ by reading passages of the Koran. He was also an ex-Scout leader and a caretaker at Stepney Green Secondary School.

Islam’s esoteric practice formed part of an accepted Islamic tradition and was backed by the East London mosque he regularly attended.

Minhaj Kibriyah, a video producer who works in a nearby block, said ambulances were at the scene of Islam’s murder just after 6:30pm on Monday.

“The speculation is that one of his patients was possessed by a demon and they got in and attacked him,” he told the Daily Mail.

“Lots of demons possess people and it’s a crisis. It’s very possible that a demon wanted to attack him. These demons hold a grudge – it’s possible one of them used a body to attack him.

“There was blood all over the floor in the street right in front of my office. It’s scary and shocking that something like this could happen just next door.”

Another friend, who wished to remain anonymous, agreed the only explanation for the stabbing was a disgruntled client.

“The rumor is that it was a client that thought he had been given bad advice and then attacked him,” he told the Daily Mail.

“He was a good man and really well-known in the community.”

In 2013, exorcists in Britain were reported to be charging vulnerable people as much as £250 (US$386) per session to rid them of evil spirits.

Sex abuse victims, drug addicts and people with personality disorders are among those who seek such exorcisms.