Finsbury Park Mosque chairman condemns assault on Jeremy Corbyn
PUBLISHED: 09:34 04 March 2019 | UPDATED: 08:15 06 March 2019
The chairman of Finsbury Park Mosque has condemned an assault on Jeremy Corbyn during a visit to promote community relations yesterday.
Mohammed Kozbar says Jeremy Corbyn has fought racism all his life and shouldn’t have been hit by a man holding an egg during his visit to Muslim Welfare House, in Seven Sisters Road.
The Labour leader and Islington North veteran was doing the rounds for Visit My Mosque Day, an annual event organised by Muslim Council of Britain where 200 places of worship across the UK hold open days, when he was hit on the head.
The Met Police yesterday said a man was “quickly detained by officers on the scene”, and Joe Murphy, 31, of Barnet was charged with assault by beating in connection with the attack his morning. He will appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on March 19.
“For it to happen in a religious place is not acceptable,” Mr Kozbar told the Gazette.
“This day was about tolerance and bringing people together, about community cohesion.
“So for such an incident to take place in Muslim Welfare House and against Jeremy, who we all know has fought all his life against racism and hated is not acceptable at all.
“It should not be tolerated by the police because it could happen in a more serious aspect and it has consequences, so we all need to stand in solidarity with Jeremy and anyone else who gets attacked.
“We shouldn’t allow people to use the place they were invited to as a member of the public to hurt people.”
He added that the event had otherwise been very successful, with a good turnout despite the bad weather.
“It was a good event,” he said. “We had a seminar about the environment from a faith perspective, where a priest and imam talked about it from a religious point of view, which was very interesting.
“Such events bring people together and are about positive engagement and building bridges between communities.
“It’s also about fighting Islamophobia, which is on the rise unfortunately, so events like these help people to better understand the Muslim community and mosques.”
Toufik Kacimi, chief exec of Muslim Welfare House, released a statement stating: “We condemn in the strongest terms this outrageous act which has left everyone shocked. [...]
“We will not let this deter us from cooperating with all groups in building a more cohesive society.”
Jeremy Corbyn hasn’t commented on the assault but later tweeted saying Visit My Mosque Day is “a fantastic opportunity to build understanding across communities and educate ourselves about our diverse communities. Let’s build bridges not walls”.