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Finsbury Park terror attack: Jeremy Corbyn praises ‘magnificent’ Islington community one year on from tragedy

PUBLISHED: 11:08 19 June 2018 | UPDATED: 11:35 19 June 2018

Politicians, faith leaders and community leaders at the steps of Islington Town Hall to mark a year since the Finsbury Park terror attack. Picture: Polly Hancock

Politicians, faith leaders and community leaders at the steps of Islington Town Hall to mark a year since the Finsbury Park terror attack. Picture: Polly Hancock

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Jeremy Corbyn this morning praised his “magnificent” community as Islington marked one year since the Finsbury Park terror attack.

Jeremy Corbyn speaks at the Islington Town Hall event to mark a year since the Finsbury Park terror attack. Picture: Polly HancockJeremy Corbyn speaks at the Islington Town Hall event to mark a year since the Finsbury Park terror attack. Picture: Polly Hancock

The Islington North MP and Labour Party leader joined victims of the attack, including the family of Makram Ali, on the steps of Islington Town Hall for a minute’s silence.

He and Islington South and Finsbury MP Emily Thornberry stood either side of their Conservative counterparts – communities secretary James Brokenshire and home secretary Sajid Javid – as Islington presented a united front against Darren Osborne’s hate.

With Upper Street closed to traffic, Mr Corbyn, who lives near to where the attack happened in Seven Sisters Road, addressed a crowd of bystanders outside the town hall.

He said: “A man ridden with racism tried to divide and destroy our community. The response from the emergency services, from the local authority and from the local community was absolutely magnificent. Magnificent in its immediate response – but also its human element.

“Imam Mohammed Mahmoud [who stopped people attacking Osborne and helped detain him until police arrived] did a brilliant and wonderful job in making sure that hatred didn’t turn into violence and anger on the streets that night. He helped ensure we came together as a community, because that is the only response there can ever be to the racists that seek to divide us.

“Makram lost his life and in retaliation to that, we asked the community to come together. The following day, there were prayers in Seven Sisters Road, an errie quiet on one of the busiest roads of our city. We came together – Christians, Jewish, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, humanists – to show our solidarity.

“We will never allow them [people like Osborne] to divide us.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan also praised Imam Mahmoud: “This is the kind of story that gives us hope, because it shows our values will always be stronger than the hatred of the extremists.

“The terrorist attack in Finsbury Park a year ago was an attack on all Londoners. Terrorism is terrorism, no matter the target and regardless of what motivates the sick and twisted perpetrators. The way this community has responded and come together has inspired us all.”

Imam Mohammed Mahmoud speaks at the Islington Town Hall event to mark a year since the Finsbury Park terror attack. He's watched on by Islington Council leader Richard Watts, mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Met Police commissioner Cressida Dick and Muslim Welfare House CEO Toufik Kacimi. Picture: Polly HancockImam Mohammed Mahmoud speaks at the Islington Town Hall event to mark a year since the Finsbury Park terror attack. He's watched on by Islington Council leader Richard Watts, mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Met Police commissioner Cressida Dick and Muslim Welfare House CEO Toufik Kacimi. Picture: Polly Hancock

‘Occupy the moral high ground’

Hero Imam Mohammed Mahmoud hailed the “dignity” of the victims of the attack one year ago.

Speaking on the town hall steps, he said of Makram Ali: “Last year, a beloved member of our community – a father, husband and grandfather – lost his life. He was taken from us so cruelly and tragically.

“The family of Makram Ali. and those who were injured, endured with patience over the last year. Their actions deserve respect. They inspire all and command our respect due to their dignity on that day.

“I say to them, with all confidence, stand proudly and occupy the moral high ground.”

Toufik Kacimi, CEO of Muslim Welfare House, outside which the attack happened in Seven Sisters Road, said: “Out of evil we saw positivity in the community and we have to speak about this again and again.

“We saw peace and love, instead of hate. Those messages are still with us today.”

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