- Boy was stabbed outside Idara Maarif-e-Islam Hussainia Mosque at 1am today
- He was rushed to hospital in Birmingham but remains in critical condition
- A cordon is in place at the scene near Birmingham City FC's St Andrews stadium
A 14-year-old boy is fighting for his life in hospital after being stabbed outside a mosque in an 'ISIS-inspired' attack as his horrified brother and father looked on.
The teenager was attacked outside the Idara Maarif-e-Islam Hussainia Mosque in Herbert Road, in Small Heath, Birmingham, at around 1am today.
He was left with several stab wounds and was taken to hospital by paramedics after suffering life-threatening injuries.
He remains in a critical condition and is believed to be from the Kings Heath area of Birmingham.
Police confirmed a 29-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and is currently in custody.
West Midlands Police has confirmed the incident is not terror related but they are keeping an 'open mind as to whether it was religiously or racially motivated'.
The founding member of the Shia mosque, who asked not to be named, believes the attack was 'inspired by Daesh' - the Arabic nickname for ISIS.
He said: 'There is no doubt that this was a targeted attack.
'The victim might have been random, but in my mind it is clear that these people are from Daesh, and wanted to kill a Shia Muslim based on the belief that they would go to heaven.'
Witnesses at the scene told the Birmingham Mail the teenager was stabbed after being dropped off at the mosque by his father for part of a special 10-day event.
The venue was busy with people despite the late hour as worshippers celebrated the Muharram - the start of the Islamic Holy Year - and the victim's brother 'saw it all'
One witness told the newspaper: 'His brother saw it all and was screaming to his dad to come and help.'
Azhar Kiana told the newspaper: 'It happened on the pavement. By the time, the dad parked his car, his son was on the floor.
'There was a young man who was brutally beating the boy with a knife.
'There was blood everywhere, he was hitting the boy's neck and head. Then the attacker ran off and got into a car.'
Adnan Khan, a senior member of the mosque's congregation said he believes it was a racist attack.
The information secretary said: 'We believe this was a racist attack and the young lad was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
'We had been advised about security and now have knife scanners at the entrance to the halls, but obviously nothing in the street.
'We believe they were lying in wait for someone to attack.'
Another member of the mosque said there were 'seven or eight males acting strangely' at the mosque earlier that day, before they were asked to leave.
He said: 'There were a lot of people at the mosque that night as part of the 10-day festival, one of the biggest in the Shiah calendar.
'A group of seven to eight males had came into the mosque a few hours before and were acting very strangely.
'They were taking obscure pictures and they were asked to leave because of their behaviour.'
The mosque leader, who has been associated with Shia Muslim centre near Birmingham City FC's stadium for over 40 years, added: 'As far as I have been told he is completely paralysed on one side of his body, but is in a stable but critical condition.
'We just have to hope and pray that he pulls through and is not seriously injured.
'He was also stabbed in both cheeks, as they tussled on the ground.
'There would have been around 300 people here last night, but I'm not sure how many people witnessed it.
'There is no way it was a random act, as the attacker was in a car with other people.
'He got out, attacked this boy and then got back into the car, which drove away as people tried to chase it down.
'We have been holding the festival for the last ten days or so, and they would have wanted to make some sort of mark.
'The West thinks the animosity with Daesh is a new thing, but we've been dealing with this for 1,400 years.
'We haven't had an incident like this here before, but I'm not surprised that it has happened at all, because it is the way that the world is just now.'
The Islamic leader said 'absolutely nothing is going to stop us in our determination to celebrate this special time' and things would carry on at the mosque 'as normal'.
He also said West Midland Police's anti-terror unit was one of the first to arrive on scene in the early hours, before ambulances and police cars came.
Worshipper Salmaan Masri, 34, who attends the mosque, added: 'It is shocking, very shocking that something like this has happened at a special time like this.
'We are hoping and praying that the boy will pull through, and that whoever is responsible is brought to justice.'
A 48-year-old woman, whose house looks onto the mosque, also said: 'I woke up and heard sirens blaring and a lot of screaming.
'Something like this, just shows you that the streets are not safe for young people, or indeed anyone.'
Detective Inspector Jim Colclough from the complex crime investigation team at Bournville Lane police station said: 'Our investigation is progressing quickly but it is still in the early stages.
'We do not believe it to be terror-related. The motivation for the attack is not yet known, we are keeping an open mind as to whether it could be racially or religiously motivated.
'We are working closely with local communities and have increased our local police presence in the area to provide reassurance and be on hand to answer any questions or concerns that people may have.
'It is tragic event which has left a young boy in hospital fighting for his life.
'We've spoken to a number of witnesses but would continue to urge anyone who was in the area and saw what happened, or has any other information which may help our investigation to contact me or my team on 101 or to call Crimestoppers as soon as possible.'
The teenager was allegedly taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, but will soon be transferred to Birmingham Children's Hospital.
Amjad Shah, the general secretary of the Hussainia Mosque, confirmed that the 14-year-old was a member of the congregation at the place of worship.
Mr Shah said: 'This was a cowardly and unprovoked attack and the victim is critically ill in hospital.
'The Board of Trustees and the entire community is praying for his swift recovery. Our sympathies are extended to the victim's family.'
Stressing that the motivation for the attack was not yet clear, Mr Shah added: 'Background checks so far have not associated the suspect with any particular mosque or community.
'The Board of Trustees emphasises that whatever the motive behind this attack, it should not be sensationalised and neither used as a justification to spread hatred or incite violence.
'Hussainia Mosque will not tolerate the disturbance of the communal harmony between the various communities that share this geography.
'This is an ongoing police investigation and further statements will be released as the facts become clearer.'