Around 300 people came together for a vigil at Finsbury Park Mosque in north London yesterday, Tuesday. It was in response to an Islamophobic terror attack that killed one Muslim and injured a further 10 on Monday.
People came to show solidarity with Muslims—and stand against the Islamophobia from the politicians and the press that fuelled this attack. Amirah told Socialist Worker, “There have been so many attacks recently and then this happens.
“We need to be more vocal and take on the racist narrative.”
Mike from south west London added, “Today is about everyone coming together—we need to start challenging racism.”
The vigil was organised by the Finsbury Park Mosque and Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) and supported by Islington NUT teachers’ union and the Stop the War Coalition.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is also the local MP for Islington North, spoke to large cheers. He said, “This is not the first time we’ve faced a crisis, the only response can be to come together.”
“We will not be divided.”
When Theresa May visited the mosque on Monday, she was heckled by anti-racists who’d come to show solidarity with the mosque.
Other speakers at the vigil included SUTR joint convenor Weyman Bennett and Finsbury Park Mosque chair Mohammed Kozbar.
There was a feeling of unity—and a determination to speak up against the growing racist rhetoric from politicians and the press. Muna told Socialist Worker “It’s really nice how everyone has come together against Islamophobia.”
She added, “The attack was completely out of the blue, and many people are feeling unsure if it’s safe.
“Women especially feel wearing the hijab draws attention to them.”
Hassan agreed, “My wife can’t go out on her own, the backlash after the previous terror attacks has been crazy.
“It’s not even blatant attacks on Muslim people, but people looking at you in a different way that makes you feel nervous.”
But the event, which followed another hundreds-strong vigil held the previous day, gave people some confidence. As Kamal told Socialist Worker, “It’s nice to see people with the same feeling coming together.
Hassan added, “Something like this brings the community together and it makes me proud.
“The only way to defeat these kind of attacks is for good people to come out.”