UPDATE Flint Islamic Center presents Lt. Jeff Neville with check for $10,000 following Friday prayers

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SWARTZ CREEK, Michigan (WJRT) - (07/07/17) - UPDATE Coming together in prayer and support.
The Muslim Community in Flint is wrapping their arms around Lt. Jeff Neville, spiritually and financially.

The Flint Islamic Center raised 10-thousand-dollars for Jeff and his family, as he continues to recover from a critical stabbing while on patrol at Bishop International Airport.

ABC12's Amy Hybels has more on today's emotional moment.

The Islamic Center launched the fund raising campaign as soon as they learned of the attack.

According to the FBI criminal complaint, Amor Ftouhi, a Canadian citizen from Tunisia, yelled "Allahu Akbar" before stabbing Lt. Neville.

The Muslim community in Flint condemned the attack and honored the Lt. at their mosque following Friday prayers.

It was an emotional re-union for Dr. Abdul Majeed Jondy and Lt. Jeff Neville during Friday's check presentation ceremony.

Dr. Jondy, the President of the Flint Islamic Center, is also a trauma surgeon at Hurley Medical Center.

He visited Lt. Neville in the hospital the day after the attack. On Friday the two met again, for a very different reason:

"This is a $10,000 from the Muslim community Flint Islamic Center," Dr. Jondy announced as he handed Lt. Neville a check bearing his name.

Dr. Jondy continued, "thanking God for his safety and he's coming back to serve this country again."

A declaration Lt. Neville plans to honor. "I will be back at work at the airport," Lt. Neville started to explain to the crowd gathered in the mosque, onlly to be interrupted by loud and sustained applause.

Lt Neville describes what his life has been like since the attack:

"I cannot really believe that its all gone on in such a short time," Neville said, "that I've been in the hospital, pretty seriously injured and now I'm out and except for some swelling, I'm pretty good."

Neville says he's forgiven the man police say stabbed him -- and believes he was attacked not because of who he is, but what he represents, as a symbol of law enforcement and the United States.

"I have no hatred for that man," Neville said, "hatred is a negative force and I'm not going to involve myself with because it just draws energy away and there's too many other things that need to be done."

Lt. Neville tells us it will be more than a month before he's back at his post but he's looking forward to returning to work.
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Flint's Muslim community, which immediately condemned last month's attack on Lt.Jeff Neville at Bishop International Airport,
presented the officer with a check for ten thousand dollars today.

ABC 12's Amy Hybels attended the presentation following Friday prayers at the Flint Islamic Center and shares more about the emotional gathering.

This afternoon's presentation inside the Mosque is another example of the community uniting following last month's horrific act.

Dr. Abdul Majeed Jondy, the President of the Flint Islamic Center, emphatically declared the suspect in the airport stabbing has nothing to do with his religion and thanked Lt. Neville for his service.

"He is against our Islam," Dr. Jondy stated, "against our principal, against all values that we hold, you're welcome here, I thank you."

Those in attendance, which included Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, Flint Police Chief Timothy Johnson, Bishop International Airport Police Chief Chris Miller, and American Muslim law enforcement officers of New York and New Jersey clapped as the two men shared a warm embrace.

The Flint Islamic Center launched an online giving campaign the night of the stabbing to raise support for Lt Jeff Neville.

The officer was seriously injured after the FBI says 49-year old
Amor Ftouhi, a French Canadian from Tunisia, used a 12-inch knife to stab Neville at the airport on June 21st.

Today Lt. Neville thanked the center for the gift and talked about his feelings about the attack.

We asked Neville if he's been able to forgive his attacker to which he replied, " I think I have, it's not helpful to hate," he noted, "he didn't attack me personally, I was a symbol. If he had known me he wouldn't have attacked me."

When asked when he plans to return to work, Lt. Neville told us it will be more than a month as he just had his stitches removed.



 
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