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Sadiq Khan tells family of Finsbury Park terror victim Makram Ali: ‘You represent the best of humanity’

PUBLISHED: 16:20 15 March 2018 | UPDATED: 08:02 16 March 2018

Makram Ali's sons and daughters - Farhan Ali, Ruman Ali and Ruzina Akhtar - unveil the plaque in Clifton Court in the Six Acres Estate this afternoon. Picture: James Morris

Makram Ali's sons and daughters - Farhan Ali, Ruman Ali and Ruzina Akhtar - unveil the plaque in Clifton Court in the Six Acres Estate this afternoon. Picture: James Morris

Archant

Sadiq Khan this afternoon told Makram Ali’s family it represents “the best of Islam – the best of humanity” for the dignity it has shown in the nine months since he was murdered in Finsbury Park.

From left at the unveiling of Makram Ali's memorialt: Islington Council leader Richard Watts, Finsbury Park Mosque chairman Mohammed Kozbar, Farhan Ali, Ruman Ali, Ruzina Akhtar, Met Police commissioner Cressida Dick, mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Muslim Welfare House imam Mohammed Mahmoud. Picture: James MorrisFrom left at the unveiling of Makram Ali's memorialt: Islington Council leader Richard Watts, Finsbury Park Mosque chairman Mohammed Kozbar, Farhan Ali, Ruman Ali, Ruzina Akhtar, Met Police commissioner Cressida Dick, mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Muslim Welfare House imam Mohammed Mahmoud. Picture: James Morris

The mayor of London was speaking at a memorial for Mr Ali, who was killed by terrorist van driver Darren Osborne in June last year.

The event, in Clifton Court in the Six Acres Estate off Seven Sisters Road, was just around the corner from where Makram was killed after Ramadan night prayers at Muslim Welfare House.

After Osborne was sentenced in January, Islington Council pledged to install a memorial plaque for Makram, 51. Clifton Court’s play area was chosen because it was where he used to play with his grandchildren.

After his sons, Farhan and Ruman Ali, unveiled the plaque, daughter Ruzina Akhtar stepped forward and said: “He would play football here with my youngest. I can vividly remember the joy and smile on his face.

“We lost our humble and much-loved father due to an act of racism and hatred. Let’s also take a moment to remember those who died and suffered during the other terrorist attacks last year as well.”

The memorial stone to Makram Ali in Clifton Court in the Six Acres Estate, Finsbury Park. Picture: Em FitzgeraldThe memorial stone to Makram Ali in Clifton Court in the Six Acres Estate, Finsbury Park. Picture: Em Fitzgerald

Farhan and Ruman were also given a key to the estate, in order for the family to visit the memorial stone.

Pointing to Makram’s grandchildren on the swings as the ceremony took place, mayor Mr Khan said: “Can I tell you how lovely, and appropriate, it is to see these children running around, having fun.

“If you look at the Manchester, Westminster Bridge, London Bridge and Finsbury Park attacks, they were all done to divide communities and drive a wedge between us. The response has been a beacon.

“I want you [Makram’s family] to know: we may not be here every day, week, or month – but we will remember the dignity of your family. You are the best of Islam – the best of humanity.”

Mohammed Mahmoud, the hero imam of Muslim Welfare House who stopped people attacking Osborne and insisted he should be left to police, also spoke. He said: “Last year we suffered. A cowardly attack that aimed to divide our community, but failed to do so.

“Makram’s loss is still keenly felt. We celebrate today how he celebrated joy and innocence with his grandchildren in this very park. We remember him and the victims of terror who fell last year.”

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