The far-right group, Britain First, posted about the Finsbury Park Mosque terrorist attack on its Facebook page. Many of the responses to the post tried to justify the attack on Muslims.
One respondent said, “The muslims are asking for it [sic]”. Other comments followed similar themes of victim blaming.
Others praised the terrorist, Darren Osborne, who was called a “patriot” and “hero” on the social media site. Others critiqued the small death toll from his attack.
The person who reported the threatening comments to the Home Office was concerned that these threatening comments against Muslims would not be treated with the same seriousness as similar (or milder) comments made by alleged Islamist extremists.
Under the Terrorism Act of 2006, these Facebook comments could be considered a crime because they may amount to an “encouragement of terrorism.”
Darren Osborne, who attacked Muslims gathered outside Finsbury Park Mosque early Monday morning, had previously expressed his intentions to “do something about them,” meaning Muslims. Patrons at a Cardiff Pub say that Osborne had ranted about the pro-Palestinian Al Quds Day march occurring in London on Sunday. As such, it is believed that he intended to attack the march but did not make it to London in time to do so.
He talked about a need to “stand up to Muslims.” Others in the pub argued with him but did not report him to authorities.
Later that night, Osbourne was reported by a neighbour for being unresponsively drunk in his van but police found him not to have committed any crime and did not arrest him. A day later Osborne attempted to kill a group of Muslim worshippers leaving prayers and attending to an elderly man in need of first aid.
Osborne had a history of violence and was banned from all pubs in his old hometown of Weston-super-Mare in Somerset. He was not banned in his new town of Cardiff. He recently seperated from his partner and reportedly is living in a tent. He has four children.
Police are investigating if he has ties to extremists. Far-Right extremism and domestic terrorism has been on the rise and police are struggling to keep up with related investigations. There have been some calls for the inclusion of intelligence services.
Following the attack on Muslims near the Finsbury Park Mosque, Prime Minister called for an end to anti-Muslim right-wing extremism.
Mehdi Hasan, a prominent Muslim British journalist, argues that May’s claim is contradictory with her own political history, which is steeped in support for Islamaphobic policy and tolerance of Islamaphobia in her Conservative party.
As Home Secretary, she largely ignored “hundreds” of incidents of anti-Muslim violent incidents while focusing intensely on the “Islamist” threat. She ignored a warning from an official in her department that this focus could foster right-wing violence. The official wrote, “I wouldn’t want to get to the point where something happens and we look back and think actually, we should have addressed that as well.”
In 2014, she was an active voice in claiming that Birmingham schools were being taken over by Muslims “extremists” despite limited evidence of radicalisation.
As home secretary, she never formerly met with the Cross-Government Anti-Mulsim Hatred Working group. The inattention to this important issue from the Conservative government resulted in leading academics resigning from the group.
Former Conservative minister Sayeeda Warsi has been disappointed in the limited support the Conservative party has given her in fighting Islamaphobia. Hasan believes she is being polite and measured in her condemnation, as she has been almost entirely ignored.
As Prime Minister, she hired a political strategist who told the conservatives to ignore “[explitive] Muslims” and supported the allegedly Islamaphobic campaigns, such as that of Zac Goldsmith.
She is also accused of purposefully limiting the presence of both Muslims and Muslim-related issues in the party. As such, the author is sceptical that she will fight Islamaphobia effectively.
Giving back to the community, a London mosque offers hot meals and psychological support once a week for the city’s needy, reflecting one of the tenets of Islam of charity. Located in London Borough of Islington, Finsbury Park Mosque opens its doors for London’s homeless once a week to show the true face of Islam.
The project “is part of several inter-religious initiatives that aim to serve the communities around,” Mohammad Ali, the deputy director of the Mosque, told Al Jazeera on Saturday, August 8. Social workers at the mosque welcome dozens of needy people who come to share worries and hopes.
According to Ishiya, a volunteer at the mosque, the homeless are finding the social security they lack on the streets. The mosque hopes to provide better meals with more regularity, Ishiya added. It hosts a number of activities that target both Muslims and non-Muslims, “Muslims should have a role in social integration,” Ali explained.
The mosque, which has become a focal point in the community for interfaith and peaceful worship over the past 10 years, was often overshadowed by its old links with extremist preacher Abu Hamza, who was sentenced to life in US prison.
The mosque is now the only one in the country to have received the charity commission-zendorsed Visible Quality Award for its work in the community.
On Friday, the imam Sheik Maymoun Zarzour, 39, was found dead at the Muslim Welfare House in Finsbury park, next to the Finsbury Park Mosque. It then emerged that the imam – who was blind since a childhood accident – was killed after the morning prayers. A man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder. The Metropolitan Police does not believe it to be a faith hate crime; instead, some officers believed the suspect attended the mosque. Drawing on comments made by worshippers at the mosque, the Daily Mirror reports that the imam was killed after an unknown man walked up and talked to him. However, details have not been released yet.
Sheik Zarzour was born in Lebanon and came tot he UK in 2008, seeking asylum.
The Former Imam Of The Finsbury Park Mosque, London, Has Lost His Appeal Against Detention Without Trial. Abu Qatada, described as an “inspiration” for terrorists both here and abroad, has been held for more than a year under emergency powers introduced after the September 11 attacks on the Twin Towers in New York.