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Jeremy Corbyn backs Finsbury Park Mosque after attempted arson attack

PUBLISHED: 07:00 03 December 2015

Islington North MP and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn visited Finsbury Park Mosque on Sunday to meet its leaders and show support. He was joined by Islington Council leader Richard Watts, second right, and Mr Kozbar, far right. Picture: Finsbury Park Mosque

Islington North MP and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn visited Finsbury Park Mosque on Sunday to meet its leaders and show support. He was joined by Islington Council leader Richard Watts, second right, and Mr Kozbar, far right. Picture: Finsbury Park Mosque

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Finsbury Park Mosque is “even more determined” to integrate with its community after staring a potential hate crime “disaster” in the face on Friday night.

The barrel failed to explode due to the wet weather, Finsbury Park Mosque chairman Mohammed Kozbar said. Picture: Finsbury Park MosqueThe barrel failed to explode due to the wet weather, Finsbury Park Mosque chairman Mohammed Kozbar said. Picture: Finsbury Park Mosque

Just before 8.30pm, a man approached the St Thomas’s Road mosque holding a jerrycan full of petrol. He attempted to set it alight before hurling it into the compound.

However, the can failed to fully ignite due to the wet weather and the man fled.

Police are treating it as attempted arson and an Islamophopic hate crime.

Chairman Mohammed Kozbar said the mosque was busier than ever on Sunday, when Islington North MP and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also turned up to offer support.

Finsbury Park Mosque was also targeted a few weeks ago, when hoax preach letters, claiming to be from the mosque, circulated in the areaFinsbury Park Mosque was also targeted a few weeks ago, when hoax preach letters, claiming to be from the mosque, circulated in the area

He said: “It was shocking news for us. If this happened at another time, when the mosque was full, it would have been a disaster. There could have been loss of life.”

The attack came just weeks after hoax preach letters, claiming to be from the mosque, circulated in the area.

“I don’t know why we have been targeted,” said Mr Kozbar, 48. “We do good, positive work in the community.

“It has made everyone associated with the mosque even more determined to follow our aim of community cohesion.

“We will not let these people change our way of life, and stop us integrating with the community.”

At 6pm tomorrow (Friday), the mosque is holding a “vigil of solidarity” outside the building in a stand against racism and hate crime.

Meanwhile, high visibility patrols have been stepped up in the area, Islington Police said.

The suspect is described as a white male wearing a white hooded jumper, a white baseball cap and blue jeans. He is believed to have fled on a moped.

Anyone with information is asked to call Islington CID on 0207 421 0262 or by via 101. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via crimestoppers-uk.org


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