Tuesday, July 16

Corbyn breaks fast with Muslims on anniversary of Mosque attack



Jeremy Corbyn has broken fast with members of the north London Muslim community to commemorate the Finsbury Park mosque attack.

The Labour leader offered a message of unity as he joined the daughter of victim Makram Ali at a community street iftar meal outside the mosque on Tuesday evening.

The attack took place on June 19, 2017, but Tuesday marked the 17th day of Ramadan and the second anniversary of the attack, according to the lunar calendar observed in Islam.

Mr Ali, 70, was killed when Darren Osborne ploughed a hired van into worshippers gathered outside the Muslim Welfare House shortly after evening Ramadan prayers.

He died at the scene while 12 worshippers were injured.

Mr Corbyn, who lives nearby, told those gathered over the road from the attack on Tuesday evening that targeting a place of worship was an attack on all of us.

The Labour leader added: I want our children to grow up in a world of diversity of wonder and of beauty, but if they grow up in a world dominated by discrimination and hate, then their lives will be less exciting, their lives will be less imaginative, and above all the collective problems we face cannot be solved.

Those that divide our community don’t build houses that people need to live in.

He was also joined by Conservative MP Dominic Grieve and Ruzina Akhtar, Mr Ali’s daughter, who addressed the gathering.

She said: Two years on after the tragic loss of my father, it is still most beautiful to continue to see that the community is able to get together to celebrate events like today.

Communities are only able to stand united because we don’t give into these terrorists and racists who set out to divide us.

Also present was Abdirahman Ibrahim, 31, who was clipped by the van and tended to Mr Ali and others injured before helping apprehend the driver, Osborne.

He was on crutches for nearly three months following the attack after his knee was damaged and has been left with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety and hyper vigilance.

Mohammed Kozbar, chairman of Finsbury Park mosque, said he had seen a torrent of Islamophobic incidents over the past few years.

People tried to set fire to the mosque, a pig’s head was impaled on the gates outside the building, staff were sent white powder by post and received many abusive phone calls, he said.

He added: We’ve been through a very difficult time and very challenging time as a Muslim community in the last few years, when we have seen the rise of Islamophobia and the rise of hate crimes, especially against Muslims.