Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Charles delivers message of solidarity from Queen during Finsbury Park visit

Speaking to faith leaders Charles said he felt joy at being with them “despite the very sad, unfortunate circumstances”.

The Prince of Wales has delivered a personal message of solidarity from the Queen as he visited faith leaders and community members including a victim of the suspected terror attack in Finsbury Park.

One man died and nine people were taken to hospital when a van driver targeted an area busy with worshippers attending Ramadan night prayers at a nearby mosque in the early hours of Monday.

Speaking to faith leaders during a visit to the Muslim Welfare House, Charles said he felt joy at being with them “despite the very sad, unfortunate circumstances” and that he remembered with “great fondness” his visit there 30 years ago.

He said: “But I did particularly want to bring a message from the Queen on this particular occasion.

“She has specifically asked me to tell you how shocked she was by what happened, particularly as the victims were worshippers who had been attending Ramadan prayers – and her Majesty’s thoughts and prayers are with you all.

“And if I may say so, I can only but join my particular thoughts and prayers to her Majesty’s on this occasion, and to say that for many years I have taken a great interest in the Muslim community in this country.”

Charles added that he was “deeply impressed” by the imam who shielded the suspect until police arrived, praising his “remarkable actions on that terrible occasion”.

Imam Mohammed Mahmoud, who greeted the Prince, was hailed for his efforts to prevent a mob attack on Monday before police arrived in shielding the suspected terrorist from the fury of onlookers.

“Thank goodness we have wonderful leaders,” he added.

Before the meeting Charles also greeted Yassin Hersi, who was tending to a man taken ill on the ground early on Monday morning when the van rammed into him, leaving him with a broken right leg and tissue damage in the left.

“Are you sure you should be here?”, he asked the 45-year-old, who was on crutches and had his right leg in a cast.

Leaning heavily on crutches, Mr Hersi said he was grateful the prince had visited because it showed people cared “from top to bottom”.

He said: “He’s been really sympathetic and very sorry for what happened to us, very supportive.”

Referring to peace, he said: “We have to all stand together and look after it, that’s what I really believe.”

bpanews_48983dc0-01e9-4225-a0c4-5156a19815f5_embedded663780
The Prince of Wales (right) speaks to Imam Mohammed Mahmoud as he arrives at Muslim Welfare House (David Mirzoeff/PA)

Charles was also welcomed by the Vice Lord Lieutenant of Greater London Mike Dudgeon and a local student, Sahra Muhamed, 19, by a pavement of floral tributes.

He paused to read some of the hundreds of messages left by the public outside Finsbury Park Tube station yards from the attack.

One colourful poster, decorated with glitter hearts and flowers and signed with many names simply asked: “Where’s the love?”

Following the meeting, Charles met groups of faith leaders from the community and secondary school children from the nearby Skinners’ Academy.

Asked by reporters how the Duke of Edinburgh, who has been admitted to hospital as a precaution following an infection, was feeling, he replied: “He’s getting better.”

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph