Finsbury Park area residents were frustrated that the police and media took several hours to start calling the Finsbury Park attack a terrorist attack. One person died in the attack and 10 people were injured.
Emma Salem, a 15-year-old resident, said, “I feel like if it was a Muslim man, whether or not they know who it is or whatever, it’s straight away classed as a terrorist attack. But because this was a white man I feel like the media especially try and cover it up. ”
Some of the anger was based on misleading information, as viral social media comparisons between headlines between Finsbury Park and certain Muslim-perpetrated terrorist attacks did not take the timing of headlines into account.
The media also focused on an alleged history of Islamist extremism in Finsbury Park. This also angered residents, as any such past problem is largely seen to have been actively and successfully resolved.
Muslims in the UK are condemning Wednesday’s terrorist attack.
A Muslim convert, Khalid Masood, killed 4 people on and near Westminster Bridge in London. Police believe that Masood was inspired by international terrorist organizations; Daesh (the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant) has claimed responsibility for the attack.
The Muslim Council of Britain was one of the first organisations to issue a response to the attack on Wednesday, offering condolences for the victims’ families and condemning the attack. The organisation issued an extended statement on Thursday.
Muslim leaders also participated in a conversation with other faith leaders to discuss responses to the attack. Specific mosques, such as Finsbury Park, have added their strong condemnations of the attack.
London’s Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan, spoke about how Londoners should not allow the attack to divide them and spread hatred.
Muslim Members of Parliament, Naz Shah and Yasmin Qureshi, and a community leader who was in Parliament at the time of the attack, Muddassar Ahmed, have also launched a campaign to support victims and their families financially. The project, Muslims Unite for London, has already raised about £18,000.
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.
16.06.2011/ 17.06.2011/ 18.06.2011
On Thursday, North London Central mosque (formerly Finsbury Park mosque) was evacuated after a parcel with suspicious white powder and racist/ anti-Islamic messages well as drawings was delivered to the imam of the mosque. Upon receipt, the people at the mosque were concerned that the white powder was anthrax and, therefore, informed the police. After conducting tests, however, the police found the powder to be harmless. Following this incident, the police admitted that it could be linked to a number of other ‘malicious communications’ that were sent to a number of mosques in London and elsewhere in the UK. The police are now investigating, especially in the Far-Right scene.
4 February 2011
The United States launched a secret campaign to reverse the radicalisation of young Islamists in Britain, amid American fears that this country had the most hard-line Muslim communities in Europe. The plan, backed by tens of thousands of dollars, followed secret warnings from MI6 to the US that Britain was struggling to cope with the “unique” terrorist threat from “home grown” extremists.
The fact that America sought to mount its own counter-extremism programme in Britain demonstrates Washington’s anxiety over the threat from British radicals who intended to attack the US. Dispatches from the American embassy in London, obtained by the website WikiLeaks, show that US officials were given a private tour of Finsbury Park Mosque, in north London, which was once the home of the notorious extremist Imam Abu Hamza al-Masri.
In 2007, Washington was engaged in a policy of “seeding” anti-extremism projects in countries around the world where radical Islam was seen as a growing threat.
The lawyer for a Muslim preacher fighting extradition from the UK has denied her client has been preaching hate to fellow inmates. Abu Qatada, who once preached at the Finsbury Park mosque in north London, is being held at a specialist unit at Long Lartin jail in Worcestershire. A prison union has said he could be radicalising other inmates via prayers. Qatada’s lawyer Gareth Peirce said that Qatada, also known as Omar Othman, did not preach to other inmates. Steve Gough, vice-chairman of the Prison Officers Association, has warned that Qatada could be using prayer meetings for indoctrinating the next generation of terrorists, as guards were unable to decipher what he was saying.
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.