Prince Charles delivers Queen's solidarity in Finsbury Park visit
PUBLISHED: 09:33 22 June 2017 | UPDATED: 12:07 22 June 2017
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The Prince of Wales last night delivered a personal message of solidarity from the Queen to Finsbury Park.
He visited faith leaders and community members including a victim of the suspected terror attack. One man died and nine people were taken to hospital when a van driver targeted an area of Seven Sisters Road busy with worshippers. They had been attending Ramadan night prayers at Muslim Welfare House.
Speaking to faith leaders during a visit there, Charles said he felt joy at being with them “despite the very sad, unfortunate circumstances” and that he remembered with “great fondness” his visit there 30 years ago.
He said: “But I did particularly want to bring a message from the Queen on this particular occasion. She has specifically asked me to tell you how shocked she was by what happened, particularly as the victims were worshippers who had been attending Ramadan prayers. Her Majesty’s thoughts and prayers are with you all.
“And if I may say so, I can only but join my particular thoughts and prayers to her Majesty’s on this occasion, and to say that for many years I have taken a great interest in the Muslim community in this country.”
Charles added that he was “deeply impressed” by the imam who shielded the suspect until police arrived, praising his “remarkable actions on that terrible occasion”.
Imam Mohammed Mahmoud, who greeted the Prince, was hailed for his efforts to prevent a mob attack on Monday before police arrived in shielding the suspected terrorist from the fury of onlookers. “Thank goodness we have wonderful leaders,” he added.
Before the meeting Charles also greeted Yassin Hersi, who was tending to a man taken ill on the ground early on Monday morning when the van rammed into him, leaving him with a broken right leg and tissue damage in the left.
“Are you sure you should be here?”, he asked the 45-year-old, who was on crutches and had his right leg in a cast. Leaning heavily on crutches, Mr Hersi said he was grateful the prince had visited because it showed people cared “from top to bottom”.
He said: “He’s been really sympathetic and very sorry for what happened to us, very supportive.”
Referring to peace, he said: “We have to all stand together and look after it, that’s what I really believe. We shouldn’t be divided, we shouldn’t be pointing fingers to one another, we have to strongly stick together.”
Reporting by Press Association