The Imam of the Muslim Welfare House in the Finsbury Park area of London is being commended for his actions and leadership after he was seen to have been aiding the arrest of the perpetrator by holding him down and preventing the angry crowd from harming him.
A man was arrested at the scene of a horrific, targetted attack on Muslim worshippers leaving the Muslim Welfare House in North London, in the early hours of today, having just completed Ramadan night prayers. One person has died and a further 8 injured after the man drove his van into a group of Muslims in what is being treated as a terror attack.
As the anger of those who witnessed this attack grew, the Imam of the nearby Mosque was quick in actions to pin the man to the floor while people could be heard shouting at the perpetrator, asking him, ‘Why did you do that? Why?!’
Their anger continued when police turned up to take the man into custody, but others, led by the imam, begged for calm outside Muslim Welfare House. They put their hands up and formed a small barrier around an officer who was trying to get him into the back of a police van.
Speaking after the attack, the Muslim Welfare House said in a statement:
‘All of us at Muslim Welfare House sends our thoughts and prayers to the victims and those injured in the major incident at Finsbury Park. The Muslim Community in this area is horrified at this incident and is concerned and shocked at the events. We have worked very hard over decades to build a peaceful and tolerant community here in Finsbury Park and we totally condemn any act of hate that tries to drive our wonderful community apart.
‘We would appeal for calm at this time. It is unhelpful for there to be speculation about the incident. All of our efforts should be towards getting justice for the victims and ensuring our community stays the diverse, tolerant and welcome place we know it to be. We call on all, including the media, to act responsibly at this time. We have already met with the Police, Council and our local MP Jeremy Corbyn. We would like to thank them for their support.
‘Our mosque and welfare centre provides vital support to many people in North London and we will continue to do this despite this incident. Muslim Welfare House has always welcomed the whole community. Only a few days ago we hosted a Great Get Together in memory of Jo Cox, attended by people of every faith and background.
‘I would like to particularly thank our Imam Mohammed Mahmoud, whose bravery and courage helped calm the immediate situation after the incident and prevented further injuries and potential loss of life. The Police should be given time to do their job. We will issue another statement later when more information has emerged.’