Socialist Worker

Defiance and solidarity after attack at Islamic centre

by Alistair Farrow
Issue No. 2623

Supporters of Stand Up To Racism with representatives of the Al-majlis Al-Hussaini Islamic centre after the attack in Cricklewood, north west London

Supporters of Stand Up To Racism with representatives of the Al-majlis Al-Hussaini Islamic centre after the attack in Cricklewood, north west London (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Hundreds of people came together in Cricklewood, north west London, on Wednesday night after an attack on worshippers outside an Islamic centre.

A driver attempted to mow down people leaving the Al-majlis Al-Hussaini Islamic centre on Tuesday night. Hundreds of people gathered the next day for an event as part of a religious festival.

They were joined by several others who came to show solidarity after the attack, including supporters of Stand Up To Racism.

Al Balaghi, a representative from the centre, said, “We've had tremendous support from the local community.

“People from the local synagogue came as a delegation and brought a beautiful message of solidarity.”

Witnesses described how a group of four people were asked to leave the centre’s private car park on Tuesday night.

They allegedly made Islamophobic comments as they drove away. The car was then surrounded by people. It sped away, injuring three people, and appeared to swerve in order to hit more.

People had been leaving the centre following a lecture organised by the Hussaini Association when the attack took place.

Boosted

The attack comes as the far right in Britain are gaining in confidence. Large demonstrations in support of the Nazi Tommy Robinson—and Islamophobic racism pushed by the Tories, politicians and the media—have boosted racist, fascist and far right groups.

SUTR has called a national demonstration against racism and fascism, to take place in central London on 17 November. It has also called a counter-demonstration alongside Unite Against Fascism, against a march by the racist Democratic Football Lads Alliance in London on 13 October.

A spokesperson for the Hussaini Association said, “We remain proud to live in a diverse and tolerant society and as such we remain unintimidated.”

Dr Ali Abd, who was at the centre on Wednesday, told Socialist Worker, “The response has been fantastic.

“We're not going to feel intimidated by this attack. I don't think it represents mainstream views in this country, and especially not in London.”

Police have said they are not treating the attack “as terror-related, but the hate crime aspect of the collision is being looked at by detectives as an aggravating factor.”

Al Balaghi said, “Muslims are victims of terrorism as much as anybody else. Terrorism has no religion, hatred has no religion. We believe in respect and dialogue.”

Join the national demonstration against fascism and racism on 17 November. See the Facebook event page for details

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