The suspect in the attack at Ohio State University on Monday told the student newspaper in an August interview that he was “kind of scared” to be seen reciting his Muslim prayers in public.
“If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don’t know what they’re going to think, what’s going to happen,” he told the newspaper.
The suspect, Abdul Artan, who was killed by police responding to an attack on the Columbus campus, was profiled in the newspaper, the Lantern, for a series called “Humans of Ohio State.”
Authorities said Artan drove a vehicle into a crowd and used a butcher knife to attack people before a police officer shot and killed him. Eleven people were treated at a hospital for injuries that do not appear to be life-threatening.
In his Lantern interview, Artan, described as a third-year in logistics management, discussed his religious faith.
Here’s what the Lantern says is a direct quote from him:
“I just transferred from Columbus State. We had prayer rooms, like actual rooms where we could go pray because we Muslims have to pray five times a day.
“There’s Fajr, which is early in the morning, at dawn. Then Zuhr during the daytime, then Asr in the evening, like right about now. And then Maghrib, which is like right at sunset and then Isha at night. I wanted to pray Asr. I mean, I’m new here. This is my first day. This place is huge, and I don’t even know where to pray.
“I wanted to pray in the open, but I was scared with everything going on in the media. I’m a Muslim, it’s not what the media portrays me to be. If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don’t know what they’re going to think, what’s going to happen. But, I don’t blame them. It’s the media that put that picture in their heads so they’re just going to have it and it, it’s going to make them feel uncomfortable. I was kind of scared right now. But I just did it. I relied on God. I went over to the corner and just prayed.”
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