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Systemic racial injustices and hatred condemned on third anniversary of Finsbury Park terror attack

PUBLISHED: 12:30 19 June 2020 | UPDATED: 12:30 19 June 2020

At the first anniversary of the Finsbury Park terror attack, people gathered at Islington Town Hall to pay their respects to the victims, and included Toufik Kacimi, the chief executive of Muslim Welfare House; Mohammed Kozbar, chairman of Finsbury Park Mosque; Simon Harvey, vicar of St Marys in Upper Street; mayor of Islington Cllr Una O'Halloran; council leader Cllr Richard Watts; and council chief exec Lesley Seary. Picture: Islington Council

At the first anniversary of the Finsbury Park terror attack, people gathered at Islington Town Hall to pay their respects to the victims, and included Toufik Kacimi, the chief executive of Muslim Welfare House; Mohammed Kozbar, chairman of Finsbury Park Mosque; Simon Harvey, vicar of St Marys in Upper Street; mayor of Islington Cllr Una O'Halloran; council leader Cllr Richard Watts; and council chief exec Lesley Seary. Picture: Islington Council

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Politicians and community leaders have spoken out against the “systemic racial injustices and hatred that blights our communities” on the third anniversary of the Finsbury Park terror attack.

Politicians, faith leaders and community leaders gathered at the steps of Islington Town Hall to mark one year since the Finsbury Park terror attack, two years ago. Picture: Polly HancockPoliticians, faith leaders and community leaders gathered at the steps of Islington Town Hall to mark one year since the Finsbury Park terror attack, two years ago. Picture: Polly Hancock

Makram Ali was murdered when a right-wing fanatic ploughed his van into worshippers outside Muslim Welfare House in Seven Sisters Road on June 19 2017.

The 51-year-old father and grandfather collapsed and died after he was struck by the van. The attack also injured twelve other people.

Darren Osborne, the terrorist driving the vehicle, was sentenced to spend at least 43 years in prison after he was jailed for life at the Old Bailey in February 2018.

In a joint statement, Mayor of Islington Council, Rakhia Ismail, leader of Islington Council, Richard Watts, MP for Islington North, Jeremy Corbyn, the chief executive of Muslim Welfare House, Toufik Kacimi, amd the chair of Finsbury Park Mosque, Mohammed Kozbar, said: “Today, on the third anniversary of the Finsbury Park terror attack, we once again stand together as one community to condemn the hatred that fuelled this horrendous act, and to reaffirm our commitment to building a community of understanding, mutual support, and love.

Makram Ali, 51, died after the terror attack in Finsbury Park on Monday who died as a result of multiple injuries. Picture: Met Police/PAMakram Ali, 51, died after the terror attack in Finsbury Park on Monday who died as a result of multiple injuries. Picture: Met Police/PA

“Today we remember the life of Makram Ali, a much-loved husband, father, grandfather and friend. Our thoughts are also with the many victims injured in and affected by the attack, including our own Mayor Consort, Yassin Hersi.

“In a time when the spotlight is shining more intensely than ever on the injustice and inequality that continues to exist in our society, we stand united in our determination to take action to end the systemic racial injustices and hatred that blights our communities in Islington and beyond. We will continue to support each other, celebrate our diversity and educate our children to do the same.”

They added: “Three years ago, the Finsbury Park terrorist set out to divide our communities with their abhorrent far-right extremist views. They failed. Instead, they brought us closer together, standing united as one Islington to say there is and will never be a place for hate and racism in our communities.”

READ MORE: Makram Ali remembered on second anniversary of Finsbury Park terror attack

READ MORE: Islington Council promises Finsbury Park memorial for Makram Ali as terrorist Darren Osborne is sentenced to life

READ MORE: Finsbury Park terror attack: Darren Osborne guilty of murder

Darren Osborne “decided to take matters into his own hands” after growing angry at a rise in terrorism and the Rotherham child exploitation scandal, the Woolwich Crown Court heard during a two-week trial.

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The loner, who was 48-years-old at the time, was intent on spilling as much blood as possible when he ploughed a hire van into worshippers outside the Muslim Welfare House in Seven Sisters Road just after midnight on June 19.

The area was busy with worshippers attending Ramadan night prayers at the time.

A jury at took just an hour to convict the father-of-four of murder and attempted murder.

Part way through his trial, Osborne suddenly denied he had been driving the van at the moment of impact– saying it was a man called Dave.

Prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC told the court: “To seek to kill someone merely because of their religion is a terrible thing.

“And what makes this act particularly horrific is that the group he drove into had gathered in the street in order to help Makram Ali, the deceased, who had collapsed as he walked along Seven Sisters Road a couple of minutes before the defendant carried out his attack.”

The defendant had driven from Cardiff to London the previous day originally intending to drive the van into people taking part in the Al Quds Day march, but began looking for another target when this did not prove viable, the court heard.

A handwritten note was found in the cab of the van within hours of the attack, which complained about terrorists on the streets and the Rotherham child exploitation scandal.

The note, which branded Islington North MP and Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn a “terrorist sympathiser” and attacked London Mayor Sadiq Khan, included the comments: “This is happening up and down our green and pleasant land. Mr Rees added: “Although there is no terrorist offence for you to consider in this case, the prosecution say that the note and the comments he made after his detention establish that this act of extreme violence was, indeed, an act of terrorism.

“That was the motivation behind it, designed to influence government and intimidate the Muslim community, and done for the purpose of advancing a political, religious, ideological or racial cause.”


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