Police to carry out extra patrols around mosques in Redbridge following Finsbury Park terror attack
PUBLISHED: 13:41 19 June 2017 | UPDATED: 10:48 20 June 2017
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Police will be carrying out extra patrols around mosques in Redbridge in the wake of the horrific terror attack in north London.
One man died and 10 people were injured after the driver of a white van ploughed into worshippers outside the Muslim Welfare House, near the Finsbury Park Mosque in north London.
Eight people are still in hospital and a 48-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.
The area was busy with worshippers leaving evening prayers at the time of the incident.
A group of people were helping a man who had collapsed when they were hit by the van just after midnight. Police have said that all the victims of the attack were Muslim.
Witnesses described hearing the man, who was detained by members of the public at the scene, shout: “I’m going to kill Muslims”.
Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said: “This is being treated as a terrorist attack.”
He added: “This was an attack on London and all Londoners and we should all stand together against extremists whatever their cause.
The Muslim Council of Britain condemned the van attack, calling it “the most violent manifestation” yet of Islamophobia and called for extra security around mosques.
Harun Khan, secretary general of the MCB and trustee at Redbridge Islamic Centre said that the backdrop of the attack was rising Islamophobia:
He said: “During the night, ordinary British citizens were set upon while they were going about their lives, completing their night worship.
“My prayers are with the victims and their families.
“It appears from eye witness accounts that the perpetrator was motivated by Islamophobia.
“Over the past weeks and months, Muslims have endured many incidents of Islamophobia, and this is the most violent manifestation to date.
“Muslim communities have been calling for increased action to tackle the growth in hate crime for many years and transformative action must now be taken to tackle not only this incident but the hugely worrying growth in Islamophobia.
“Many will feel terrorised, no doubt be angry and saddened by what has taken place tonight.
“We urge calm as the investigation establishes the full facts, and in these last days of Ramadan, pray for those affected and for justice.”
Police in London have recorded a spike in the number of Islamophobic incidents in the wake of the London Bridge outrage earlier this month, with 20 recorded on June 6 - compared with a daily average of 3.5.
It was the highest daily tally for 2017, and also higher than the numbers registered after the Paris attacks in November 2015, and the murder of Lee Rigby in May 2013.
According to charity Tell MAMA which records anti-Muslim incidents, one mosque is attacked every two weeks in the UK.
Wes Streeting, MP for Ilford North, said he would be contacting mosques across Redbridge to provide reassurance.
He said: “This is an appalling attack on innocent worshippers. We must stand with the Muslim community against Islamophobic hatred.
“Following the terrorist attacks in Westminster, London Bridge and Manchester, the Mayor of London and Home Secretary have confirmed that the Met Police Counter Terrorism Command is investigating this incident.
“We all have to work together to root out extremist views wherever they exist.
“Our desire to live peacefully side by side must not be disrupted by acts of hate.
“Muslims have the right to practice their faith peacefully and without threat of terrorism.
“I will be reaching out to our local mosques and asking that the council and police do the same to provide reassurance to worshippers.
“As soon as Parliament is in session, I will be calling on the government to put in place additional security measures around mosques to keep people safe.
“I urge all local residents to pull together and support each other in this time of national tragedy.”