The attack, which left many injured, heralds troubled times for Muslims in the UK.
The attack on a group of Muslim worshippers at Finsbury Park Mosque has brought the rising number of anti-Muslim crimes to a head. The attack, which left one dead and around nine others injured, heralds a time of alarm for British Muslims and non-Muslims alike. The attack follows Islamic State’s Westminster Parliament attack in March which claimed a number of lives, as well as an attack in Manchester last month.
Recent reports have revealed the number of crimes against Muslims has risen five-fold. Muslims in Britain are at the receiving end of a number of anti-Muslim crimes. The latest attack, when a man drove a rental van straight into a gathering of Muslims, is reflective of the rising anti-Islamic sentiments in the country. Muslims were gathered to help an elderly man who had just collapsed. Although the man later died, it is not yet ascertained if he died because of the attacker or due to natural causes.
The group of Muslims were returning back from the Finsbury Park Mosque after breaking their fast. Finsbury Park Mosque has always been viewed with suspicion because it had once housed runaway extremist Egyptian cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri, although it has won awards for its social services over the years. The mosque has been actively trying to wipe away the bad name it had earned by trying to promote “true teachings of Islam as a religion of tolerance, cooperation and peaceful harmony amongst all people who lead a life of balance, justice and mutual respect,” and doing away with extremist ideologies.
Mohammed Kozbar, Chairman of Finsbury Park Mosque, with faith and community leaders. Together, our community will get through this tragedy. pic.twitter.com/wECXutQxyt
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) June 19, 2017
The van driver, 47-year-old Darren Osborne, tried to escape from the van but was pinned down by other members of the congregation. The imam of the mosque quickly contacted the police, fearing for the safety of the assailant, who was shouting “I want to kill more people. I want to kill Muslims” and “kill me, I've done my job.” The gathering was turning violent, and was stopped by the imam and a few other Muslims who formed a circle around him.
A number of Muslims have revealed that they are living in fear ever each day because the number of attacks against Muslims is only increasing, even though the mainstream Muslim community has always slammed terrorism. Muslims leaders have warned British Muslims of an oncoming wave of crimes targeted against them. There is also a fear that attacks similar to the one at Finsbury may occur at other places as well.