LONDON Around 200 people of all faiths gathered in front of London’s Finsbury Park Mosque on Tuesday to show solidarity after a van plowed into worshippers in a suspected attack on a Muslim prayer-gathering during Ramadan.
Representatives of local religious communities stood side by side during a minute’s silence in front of the mosque where the incident took place on Monday night, injuring 11 people, two of them seriously.
The driver, who was seized by worshippers immediately after the attack, has been held by police for preparing or instigating terrorism.
Locals sang together and laid flowers at the mosque, holding up placards which said “Don’t let the racists divide us” and “No to Islamophobia, No to War”.
Faith leaders from different communities took part in a minute’s silence and released a joint statement through police: “We are committed to supporting one another and (…) are determined not to allow this horrible act to divide us.”
They praised Imam Mohammed Mahmoud as an model after he defended the suspect when he was set upon by a group of angry locals following the attack.
Speaking to Sky News, Mahmoud said: “My faith is an integral part of me and it dictates everything about my decision-making, but at the same time as a human I can’t allow another human to be harmed unnecessarily.”
(Reporting by Marko Djurica and Elisabeth O’Leary; Editing by Richard Balmforth)