Corbyn urges ‘sense of solidarity in all communities’ at Finsbury Park vigil
Jeremy Corbyn spoke outside Finsbury Park Mosque.
Jeremy Corbyn called for all communities to remain strong against hate and racism as he spoke at a vigil, a stone’s throw away from the scene of a suspected terror attack which saw Muslim pedestrians mown down with a van.
The Labour leader and local MP for Islington North spoke from the steps of north London’s Finsbury Park Mosque.
Speaking to crowds who had gathered to show support for the mosque and the deeply shocked Muslim community, he said: “If this mosque is attacked, if a synagogue is attacked, if any person is attacked, we are all under attack because of it.
“Let us have a sense of solidarity in all communities, bringing all together and a sense of unity.”
A driver used a white van to target an area busy with worshippers attending Ramadan night prayers at a nearby mosque in the early hours of Monday.
One man was pronounced dead at the scene on Seven Sisters Road, and nine others were taken to hospital.
In tense and quickly unfolding scenes, a suspect was pinned to the ground by passers-by until police arrived and protected by an imam from a potential mob attack.
Organisers, who arranged the event under the banner of “No To Islamophobia – Unity with Finsbury Park Mosque”, say the attack did not take place in a vacuum but occurred in a climate of sensationalist and irresponsible attempts to demonise Muslims by sections of the press, commentators and some politicians.
Mr Corbyn described the incident as an “annoying, appalling and despicable act of terror against a wholly innocent local community”.
He said the response of the community had been “extraordinary” starting from the people who were attending a sick man on the street, who later died.
It includes those who prevented anyone injuring a suspect so that “he was properly arrested, taken away” and face the full force of the law in due course, he said.
Mr Corbyn said it also includes the Muslim leaders who immediately sought “to support the community and bring about peace”. They were trying to understand what had happened and tend to the injured.
Mr Corbyn said he was proud to represent Islington in all its faiths, diversity and differences as it makes us “more united than anybody could ever do (in trying) to divide us”.
The event started with a minute’s silence.