Londoners mark anniversary of Finsbury Park mosque terror attack

Londoners mark anniversary of Finsbury Park mosque terror attack
3 min read
19 June, 2018
Father-of-six Makram Ali was killed when far-right extremist Darren Osbourne ploughed his van into a crowd outside the north London mosque.
Mohammed Mahmoud, Imam at Finsbury Park Mosque speaks on the attack anniversary [Getty]
Mourners on Tuesday gathered near a north London mosque where a year ago a far-right extremist rammed his car into a crowd, killing father-of-six Makram Ali and injuring 12 others.

A minute's silence was held to remember Ali, who died when Darren Osborne ploughed a hire van onto a crowded pavement close to Finsbury Park mosque, intending to kill as many Muslims as possible.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid, London Mayor Sadiq Khan and opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, all attended the event at nearby Islington Town Hall, along with the imam of the mosque, Mohammed Mahmoud.

Mahmoud was hailed for his bravery after the attack on 19 June last year, after he shielded the perpetrator from any retaliation until police arrived.

Osborne, 48, left a note in the van, in which he said he was seeking revenge for Islamist terror attacks and a child sex scandal, and named mayor Khan as someone that he also wanted to kill.

The mayor paid tribute to the response of the local community.

"The way this community has responded has inspired us all," Khan said. 

"When Londoners face adversity we stand up for our values. This is our city, this is our way of life. For those who seek to divide us, the message is 'you will never succeed'."

Osborne, from the Welsh capital Cardiff, was in February sentenced to life in prison with a minimum 43-year term.

Read more: Finsbury Park attack: Radicalisation isn't exclusive to Islam

"Last year's cowardly attack which targeted innocent worshippers leaving Finsbury Park mosque is an attack on all of us," Prime Minister Theresa May said in a statement.

"As with all acts of terrorism the intention was to divide us but we will not let this happen.

"We are a country of many faiths and freedom of worship and respect for those of different faiths is fundamental to this country's values and these values will never be broken by vile extremism," she added.

Comment : The misogyny of terror

Saleha Jaffer, founder of FAST, Families Against Stress and Trauma, said: "We cannot deny the attack left some people feeling apprehensive and scared, but the work done in communities across the city since has left me feeling defiant of those who seek to incite hatred. I want anyone who is still worried to know they can and should reach out to organisations like FAST, or to the police, for support to help overcome that fear.

"Discrimination or violence based on someone's faith or race is not tolerated in our society. We owe it to ourselves and our communities to reject any form of hatred."