Politicians and survivors of north London mosque attack vow to stay ‘strong and united’
Politicians and police services outside Islington Town Hall in London after attending a service to mark the one-year anniversary of the Finsbury Park attack.
London: Survivors of the Finsbury Park terrorist attack have joined politicians, faith leaders and emergency service workers who helped victims in a moment of silence marking a year since the attack.
Makram Ali, who had six children, was killed and a dozen others were injured when Darren Osborne drove a van into a crowd leaving evening prayers during Ramadan, outside the Muslim Welfare House in north London.
In February, Osborne, 48, was jailed for life for murder and attempted murder with no chance of parole for 43 years.
The incident was one of four terrorist attacks in the UK to result in loss of life last year, the others being the vehicle and knife attacks on Westminster Bridge and London Bridge and the Manchester Arena bombing.
Ali’s relatives stood shoulder to shoulder with others affected by the attack on Muslims for a minute’s silence outside Islington town hall at 9.30am.
The event was attended by Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader and MP for Islington North, Emily Thornberry, the Islington South MP and shadow foreign secretary, Sajid Javid, the home secretary, Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, and local councillors.
Khan told attendees: “The way this community has responded and come together has inspired us all. When communities face adversity, we stand up for our values and stay strong and remain united.
“This is our city, this is our way of life and those who seek to divide us should know this: you will never succeed.”
Osborne left a note in the van in which he said he was seeking revenge for Islamist terrorist attacks and a child sex scandal and named Khan as someone he wanted to kill.
Corbyn, who delivered the closing remarks after the silence, also praised the response of the community. He also lauded the emergency services, the local authority and the Muslim Welfare House’s imam, Mohammed Mahmoud, who protected Osborne from retaliation after of the attack.
“The greatest answer to those who would seek to divide us by racism is to show that if we are divided, we cannot achieve anything,” the Labour leader said.
“We will be united forever, we will be strong forever. They will never divide us and in Makram’s name stay together.”
On Monday night and in the early hours of Tuesday, the words #LondonUnited were projected on to Muslim Welfare House. The same phrase was beamed on to the Houses of Parliament and London Bridge to mark the one year anniversary of the two other deadly terrorist attacks in the capital last year.
Theresa May described the Finsbury Park attack as “cowardly”, adding: “As with all acts of terrorism the intention was to divide us but we will not let this happen.”