Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Minute’s silence marks Finsbury Park terror attack anniversary

Jeremy Corbyn and Sadiq Khan were among those attending.

A minute’s silence has been held to mark a year since Makram Ali, a Muslim father-of-six, was killed and others injured in an attack near a mosque in north London.

Most of the victims of the Finsbury Park terror attack had just left night-time Ramadan prayers at the nearby Muslim Welfare House when Darren Osborne, determined to kill as many Muslims as possible, drove a hired van on to a crowded pavement.

Members of Mr Ali’s grieving family were joined by emergency service workers, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick and community leaders.

Also attending the memorial were Labour leader and local Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn, and London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who stressed the hate-filled attack had failed to divide the ethnically-diverse community.

Speaking on the steps of Islington Town Hall, Mr Corbyn praised the “absolutely magnificent” immediate response from the local community and emergency services that night.

Imam Mohammed Mahmoud, who protected Osborne from angry passers-by until police came to arrest him, was among those praised.

To warm applause, Mr Corbyn said: “Imam Mahmoud did a brilliant and wonderful job of making sure that hatred of racism did not turn into violence and anger on the streets that night.

“He helped to ensure that we came together as a community because that is the only response there can ever be to the racism that seeks to divide us.”

There was a strong uniformed police presence in Upper Street, a usually busy shopping and business hub, which was shut to traffic for the intimate memorial.

bpanews_01a1bd18-c378-4b43-b6ec-2211a8994969_embedded237083424
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick were among those attending (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Banners which read “United Against Terror,” “Turn To Love” and “London United” decorated the memorial scene which was attended by members of the community and local officials.

Mr Ali was remembered as a much-loved husband, father, grandfather and brother by Mr Khan.

He also stated that Mr Mahmoud’s personal actions that night give us all hope.

He said: “It shows our values will always be stronger than the hatred of the extremists.”

Stating that the Finsbury Park attack was an “attack on all Londoners,” Mr Khan said: “Terrorism is terrorism no matter the target and regardless of what motivates the sick and twisted perpetrators who carry out these evil crimes.

“The way this community has responded and come together has inspired us all.”

Last year the community came together united against hatred, bigotry and the rhetoric of the far-right and today “we stand not just as one London but as one UK,” according to Mr Mahmoud.

He said his thoughts were with Mr Ali’s family and the victims who he said had suffered “horrific injuries at the hands of this cowardly attacker”.

He said: “The family of Makram Ali and those who were injured have endured with patience over the last year. Their actions deserve respect. Their actions inspire all and command respect due to their dignity on that day.

“I say to them stand proudly as you do occupy the moral high ground.”

Jobless Osborne, who had been radicalised by far-right material, is serving a jail sentence of at least 43 years, after being found guilty in February of murder and attempted murder.

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph