London has woken up to the news of another appalling attack on muslims near a mosque at Finsbury Park. One man has died and 10 others injured after a van was rammed into worshippers at 12.20 am. The driver is said to have screamed: “I’m going to kill all Muslims” before the attack.
The white van ploughed into pedestrians as the area was busy with worshippers attending Ramadan night prayers in Seven Sisters Road at 12.20am. A 48-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. The prime minister, Theresa May, confirmed that counter-terrorism command is leading an active inquiry.
The Finsbury Park attack comes after two attacks in London in which pedestrians were struck by vehicles. The first was in Westminster in March and the second was a fortnight ago in London Bridge.
It took place during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and worshippers were out on the streets in the Finsbury Park area, which is home to two mosques.
Among Britain’s Muslim communities there are fears they are being targeted for Islamophobic hate crimes and that the authorities do not take such incidents seriously enough. A spike in hate crimes was reported after the London Bridge attack happened over a fortnight ago. Security officials and senior police officers are in private acutely aware of the need to protect Muslim communities from any backlash. Extremists on the far right and that following jihadist ideology want to drive a wedge between British Muslims and other communities.