A white van ploughed through a group of worshippers outside the Muslim Welfare House mosque in Finsbury Park, north London, this morning, Monday.
An eyewitness said the driver shouted, “I want to kill all Muslims. ”
One man, Makram Ali, was killed and a further 11 were injured in what police are treating as a “terrorist attack.” Darren Osborne, a 47 year old man from Pentwyn, Cardiff, has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
Eyewitness Abdul from north London told Socialist Worker, “A man driving a white van rammed into people outside the mosque.
“There were lots of people about because of Ramadan, it was a sort of break in between prayers when people go to the cafe nearby.
“There was panic and confusion with people screaming, shouting and trying to phone people.”
Osborne appears to have a Twitter account, which he has never used to send his own tweets, instead monitoring 32 other users, including Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen, the leaders of the fascist party Britain First.
The Tories have hypocritically condemned the attack, with prime minister Theresa May calling it a “terrible incident”.
“All my thoughts are with those who have been injured, their loved ones and the emergency services on the scene,” she said.
May also said Islamophobia was a form of extremism. But the Tories and right wing newspapers that whip up racism against Muslims day in day out bear responsibility for this attack.
In particular, May and others sought to exploit the horrific attacks in Manchester and London Bridge.
She said such attacks were “bound together by the single evil ideology of Islamist extremism”. And she added that “We cannot and must not pretend that things can continue as they are”
May wants to bolster the racist “Prevent” strategy with a new “Commission for Countering Extremism”. While it is dressed up in liberal language of fighting all forms of extremism, including the far right, it targets Muslims.
May was heckled as she visited the site of the attack.
Abdul said, “If an attack is not perpetrated by a Muslim, if it’s by someone from the far right, it’s usually swept under the rug. That’s because it doesn’t fit their narrative about Muslims.”
This isn’t the first attack in the area. The Finsbury Park Mosque around the corner was the target of an attempted firebombing in December 2015.
Mohammed Kozbar, chair of Finsbury Park Mosque, told Socialist Worker, “We have had attacks on the mosque before, but we have never experienced such a horrible attack.
“He was trying to kill as many people as possible from the Muslim community.”
Islamophobia from politicians and the press fuels attacks against Muslims on the streets. It can add up to an atmosphere of terror.
Hussein is a member of Finsbury Park Mosque, told Socialist Worker, “I said I wouldn’t be scared by the bomb and kept going to the mosque, but I’m not coming back after this attack.”
He added, “It’s not just Theresa May that’s the problem. The response to 9/11 made Islamophobia an acceptable part of the debate.”
This racism must be challenged.
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