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Kongsberg mosque chief: 'He wasn't feeling well'

Kongsberg mosque chief: ‘He wasn’t feeling well’

When DN met Osama Talili inside the prayer room of the Kongsberg Islamic Cultural Center next to the train station, he was actually on his way to Gardermoen Airport in Oslo to finally be able to fly to Tunisia to visit his father after a long epidemic.

But on Wednesday evening, the father heard the news of the drama in his son’s town in Norway and called.

– He thought I should stay here and take care of everything that comes now, and perhaps he was right about that, says Osama Talili.

It was still half a day before information started circulating in the media that the 37-year-old who was killed with a bow and arrow had converted to Islam and had become an extremist.

When DN met Osama However, the police did not contact him. But he said he understood who the man was referring to.

– There are very few people of Scandinavian appearance who come here, but when this guy happens to be, he makes a special impression.

On Thursday, Osama Talili was already intending to travel to his father in Tunisia. He had to rethink.

Photo: Veronika Ljung-Nielsen

Osama Talili says the man started showing up in the Friday prayer room four or five years ago, but it has been practically closed during the pandemic. That’s why it’s been a while since he’s seen him.

– I wouldn’t say he’s an active member here. Nor did I view it as a traditional Muslim, based on the rituals that usually come with faith, he says.

But he made an impression?

My impression is that he was not feeling well.

As the phone in his jacket pocket rings constantly, the head of the cultural center says that now, when the PST is talking about a suspected act of terrorism, he “understands whether people reacted and linked what happened to Islam.”

This worries him a lot.

It is clear that Islam as a religion distances itself, if necessary at all.

Our mosque, which is open to all Islamic religions, expresses our deep sympathy with those affected. We share the grief and will contribute the best we can. Of course to the police if they have questions, but here and now talk to the kids when they get home from school. Remember that all the children and families in such a small town are affected. We must stand together on this.

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