One person dead and 10 injured after van ploughs into crowd leaving a mosque in London’s Finsbury Park
by Peter Lazenby and Lamiat Sabin
ANTI-RACISTS condemned Islamophobic rightwingers yesterday following the murderous terror attack on Muslims outside a mosque in north London.
One man was killed and at least 10 injured when a white van was deliberately driven into Muslim worshippers leaving the mosque shortly after midnight.
Campaign group Stand Up to Racism condemned sections of the national press and some politicians who they accused of “ratcheting up Islamophobic rhetoric” after the recent terrorist attacks in Manchester and London.
The group also attacked former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson, one of Britain’s leading racist organisers, over videos and comments he made before the attack.
The group called on police to investigate both Mr Robinson’s hate videos and “inflammatory” media headlines.
In one video Robinson said “militias” would be set up and “will end up cleaning out this Islamic problem.”
After the Manchester Arena attack Mr Robinson stood outside a mosque in the city, claiming 16 people within a two-mile radius had fought for Isis, saying: “In these houses are enemy combatants.”
Stand Up to Racism quoted a headline in The Sun in June which said: “... if we want peace then we need one thing — less Islam.”
The group’s co-convener Sabby Dhalu said: “Action must be taken against those that preach hate. We call on the police to arrest Tommy Robinson and investigate his hate video.”
The man, named as Darren Osborne, who drove the white van was detained by the crowd until police arrived. He is now in custody.
Worshippers were attending Ramadan night prayers at Finsbury Park mosque and the attack happened just yards away outside the Muslim Welfare House.
Witness Abdulrahman Saleh Alamoudi said he was among a group of people helping an elderly Muslim man who had collapsed when the van swerved towards them.
He said: “He was screaming, he was saying: ‘I’m going to kill all Muslims, I’m going to kill all Muslims’. He was throwing punches.
“Then we managed to get him on the floor. Then he was saying: ‘Kill me, kill me.’ I said: ‘We are not going to kill you. Why did you do that?’
“He wouldn’t say anything.”
Mr Saleh Alamoudi added: “When he went into the [police] van he made gestures, he was laughing.”
The attack follows warnings of an unprecedented anti-Muslim backlash after recent terrorist atrocities. London police recorded a spike in the number of Islamophobic incidents in the wake of the London Bridge outrage earlier this month. The Met recorded 20 incidents on June 6, compared with a daily average of 3.5, and the highest daily tally for 2017. It was higher than the numbers after the Paris attacks in November 2015 and the murder of Lee Rigby in May 2013. In a speech last week, former police chief Mak Chishty warned that anti-Muslim sentiment online had been “relentless” following the London Bridge attack on June 3. firstname.lastname@example.org