A van driven by a 48-year-old man has killed one man and injured ten others near the Finsbury Park Mosque, in North London after 12:00 am BST, on 19th June, 2017. The man has been arrested by the London Metropolitan Police, on grounds of ‘attempted murder’. Amber Rudd..
A van driven by a 48-year-old man has killed one man and injured ten others near the Finsbury Park Mosque, in North London after 12:00 am BST, on 19th June, 2017.
The man has been arrested by the London Metropolitan Police, on grounds of ‘attempted murder’. Amber Rudd, British Home Secretary has confirmed that the police were treating it as a ‘terrorist incident’ with the investigation being carried out by the Counter- Terrorism Command.
Although police say that the attack was only carried out by the driver of the van, some eyewitnesses have claimed they saw two other men with the attacker, both of whom fled the scene. Finsburg Park, located in the London Borough Islington is home to many Muslims.
It was also reported that until the police arrived, the Imam of a nearby Muslim welfare centre was protecting the driver from being assaulted by the angry members of the public who had gathered after the attack took place. He appealed to others to keep calm and ensure that the police apprehended the suspect.
The British Prime Minister, Theresa May, initially described the attack as a ‘terrible incident’ to which she later called a ‘potential terrorist attack.’ It was reported that a Cobra emergency committee meeting would be chaired soon after the attack.
The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) called the attack a ‘terror attack’, asserting that the van had run over worshippers during the Holy month of Ramadan; therefore the act was ‘motivated by Islamophobia.’ Adding to this, the London Mayor, Sadiq Khan also stated that it was a ‘horrific terror attack’; it was a deliberate attack on innocent Londoners.
There has been a dramatic increase in terror incidents with four attacks taking place in less than 4 months.
Terror Timeline in the UK
March 22nd: Attacks on Westminster Bridge kill 5 people and injure 40.
May 22nd: A suicide attack is orchestrated outside a concert at Manchester killing 23 people and injuring over a hundred.
June 3rd: London Bridge is attacked where 3 men drive into pedestrians killing 8 and injuring almost 50.
19th June: The Finsburg Park Mosque attack kills 1 and injures 10.
The Finsbury Mosque used to be a meeting point for prominent militants, who included Zacarias Moussaoui and Richard Reid. Abu Hamza al-Masri was the imam from 1997 to 2002 and he was known to propagate extremist ideas at the Finsbury Mosque. Hamza was jailed for promoting acts of terrorism. In 2015, he was sentenced to life imprisonment.
The mosque was initially shut in 2003 but reclaimed by the local Muslim community alongside the backing of the Muslim Association of Britain.
With the death toll increasing in the United Kingdom due to terrorism, there is a need for unity. There is no greater threat than the fragmentation of our human societies. The European Union Commissioner, Dimitris Avramopoulos, strongly condemned the attack, calling for unity against those who instigate divisions among communities.
Our assessment is that the terror attacks in the United Kingdom are a vocal expression of what terror has ultimately led to. Islamophobia, which is believed to have been the main motivation for the latest attack is not prejudice against a religion but a man, who may not have anything to do with the atrocities that serve the world. People have taken it upon themselves to counter the actions of others, posing a huge threat to the overall stability of societies. This phenomenon suggests a ‘zero-sum game’. If we begin to attribute our actions to counter others, it will only lead to a perpetual conflict, one where the entire human race would bear the brunt of devastation, irrespective of religion or race because ultimately ‘life pays the price, not the religion’.