AN ISLAMIC leader is calling on his fellow Muslims to “be strong” in the wake of the latest terrorist attack to rock the capital.
Arif Khan, imam at Bait ul Ahad mosque in Erskine Road, Walthamstow, is seeking to reassure Muslims after an attack in Finsbury Park shortly after midnight this morning (Monday, June 19).
A man died and 10 people were injured when a man drove a van into a group of worshippers gathered outside the Muslim Welfare House.
The group had been assisting a man who had collapsed when the van struck. The man has died but it is not yet clear if his death was the result of being hit.
Mr Khan, who is a member of the Ahmadiyya community, a minority Muslim sect, said he has ordered extra security to protect his congregation as they enter the final week of Ramadan.
“It is terrifying that this is happening during the month of Ramadan,” he said.
“The volunteers will be protecting the mosque in case, God forbid, something happens. In these times we have to be vigilant and stay safe.
“We shouldn’t be afraid of anything and people shouldn’t be staying in their homes. We have to still go out on the streets.
“I’m telling people to not be affected by these people who attack. They want to divide us and make us afraid but we are going to be strong.”
A 48-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.
Security Minster Ben Wallace said the suspect was not known to the security services.
The incident comes just over two weeks after eight people were killed and 48 injured in a terrorist attack in Borough Market on June 3.
Mr Khan is now calling on the police to set up check points in an effort to catch those planning such attacks.
He added: “It’s terrible. Our hearts and sympathies go out to the victims and those who are affected by this incident.
“The person said he wanted to kill all Muslims.
“There’s no religion that preaches extremism or hatred. It’s very shocking.
“It’s the work of the government to protect its people and that should be their highest priority and there should be more safety measures.”
MP for Walthamstow Stella Creasy said her thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the “horrific” attack.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said the incident was “quite clearly an attack on Muslims”.
Chairman of Noor Ul Islam Trust in Leyton High Road, Yusuf Hansa, said he was “shocked and saddened” by the incident.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected, “ he added.
“All decent members of the community regardless of faith would have been horrified at this incident, just as we have been with other recent terrorist attacks.
“We urge for everyone to remain calm and expect that justice will be served. Just as we have always maintained, a whole community cannot be held accountable for the actions of a few.”
Prime Minister Theresa May has visited Finsbury Park mosque in St Thomas’s Road near where the attack took place.
Src Via : guardian