European Jewish Congress
London Jewish News: Community leaders condemn terrorist attack at Finsbury Park mosque
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London Jewish News: Community leaders condemn terrorist attack at Finsbury Park mosque

Jewish community groups have condemned an attack on a group of Muslim worshippers near a mosque by a man in a white van, being treated as terrorism by police said. 

One man died after the driver, described as a large white man, targeted people near the Finsbury Park Mosque in north London early on Monday.

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. 

Mr Basu said eight people are in hospital and two others were treated at the scene.

All of the casualties were Muslims, he added. He said: “The attack unfolded whilst a man was receiving first aid from the public at the scene; sadly, he has died. Any causative link between his death and the attack will form part of our investigation. It is too early to state if his death was as a result of the attack.” 

The attacker struck as the area was busy with worshippers attending Ramadan night prayers at the mosque.

Board of Deputies of British Jews president Jonathan Arkush condemned the attack, “which appears to be a terrorist incident. He said: “Our heartfelt sympathy, thoughts and prayers are with the victims. This weekend, the Jewish community joined Muslims and others up and down the country for the Great Get Together in memory of Jo Cox. All good people must stand together and join in rejecting hatred and violence from wherever it comes. The way forward is to strengthen the moderate majority and repudiate and marginalise extremism of every type. Hatred of people because of their religion has no place in our society.

Following the attack, Simon Johnson of the Jewish Leadership Council said: “We utterly condemn this vile, terrorist attack at the Finsbury Park Mosque last night. To target those at worship or observing their faith is a betrayal of our British values of tolerance, respect and kindness, on which our society is built. Our hearts go out to the victims.”

Mark Regev, Israeli Ambassador to the UK tweeted: “#FinsburyPark was a vile terror attack targeted against worshippers during Ramadan, a month of peace. Israel stands in solidarity w/London.” 

A spokesperson for the Zionist Federation condemned the “ugly attack”, adding that “terrorism is terrorism whether it comes from the far-right, Islamists or any other form of extremism”, urging everyone to “stand together in the fight against hatred”.

Rabbi Herschel Gluck, president of Shomrim, a Jewish neighbourhood watch group, was at the police cordon to show “solidarity” with the community. He told the Press Association: “We have very good community relations here. “(My reaction was) deep shock and deep concern about the ramifications of this terrorist atrocity.

“On one hand, I feel the people deeply appreciate our presence here and feel reassured that we are here with them, but on the other hand a lot of anger and frustration that members of their community have been attacked.”

Fiyaz Mughal, the founder of Tell Mama, which works on tackling anti-Muslim hatred, said there had been an increase in anti-Muslim sentiment in recent weeks. 

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The way it works is pretty much there are very large spikes or spikes, we call them measurable spikes, after major terrorist incidences, so Islamist extremist incidences create the largest spikes we see. We saw that very clearly after Manchester, a very high peak, we saw that clearly after London Bridge, we didn’t see it after Westminster.

“So the answer to that is yes, these peaks of anti-Muslim hate incidences reported in do go up in very high numbers after terrorist incidences.”

The European Jewish Congress’ President Dr. Moshe Kantor condemned the “unconscionable attack on Muslim worshippers during their holy month of Ramadan”, adding that “an attack on one religion is an attack on all religions and all people and faiths must stand together against terror.” 

 Click here to read the full article in London Jewish News

Tuesday, June 20, 2017
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