'Rafiq's sheer act of heroism saved a number of Muslims residing in Oslo,' Pakistan's ambassador to Norway Zaheer Pervaiz Khan said while praising his bravery during a meeting with Rafiq at Pakistan's Embassy.
OSLO: Admired globally for his relentless valour and unmatched courage, 65-year-old Mohammad Rafiq has become a source of pride for a million Pakistanis at home after he tackled a gunman aiming to attack Muslim worshippers in a mosque in a suburb of the Norwegian capital Oslo on Saturday.
"Rafiq's sheer act of heroism saved a number of Muslims residing in Oslo," Pakistan's ambassador to Norway Zaheer Pervaiz Khan said while praising Rafiq's bravery during a meeting with him at Pakistan's Embassy.
A former chief warrant officer employed at the Pakistan Air Force, Rafiq apprehended the attacker - identified as Philip Manshaus - till the time police arrived at the location of the al-Noor Islamic centre in the town of Baerum, an Oslo suburb.
Following the attack, Rafiq is being hailed as a hero for the way he alone tackled an armed man, defying the constraints of his age.
"This reiterates Pakistan's message for peace and shows how Pakistanis world-over contend for love and tranquility while opposing terrorism," added Ambassador Zaheer.
Revealing details about the laudable incident, Rafiq shared, "I was reciting Quran after Zuhr prayers on the day the incident occurred when I saw a man clad in a bullet-proof jacked carrying heavy weaponry; 2 guns and a pistol along with various other ammunition, enter the mosque after breaking through the emergency exit."
"As soon as he opened fire, I rushed towards him while making a jab at him. This made his two guns fall to the floor after which I asked a fellow worshipper named Mohammad Iqbal to take the other weapon away from him. Iqbal did as I instructed, hitting the attacker with the back of the gun, while I held him firmly in my grasp," Rafiq went on to add.
Till the time the police arrived at the scene, Philip made numerous attempts to break free from Rafiq's grasp and even scratched him on the face due to which the old man sustained minor injuries near his eyes.
The terrorist attack caused panic and fear amongst Muslims residents in the country after which peace-loving Norwegians guarded mosques during Friday congregation prayers offering security to worshippers.
Many people also visited Rafiq personally at his residence and congratulated him on his exemplary act of courage.
Meanwhile, higher authorities deployed at the police force also paid tribute to Rafiq presenting him with flowers.