As I made my way to work through Finsbury Park station this morning, I came across a crowd of people huddling over an array of flowers and supportive messages for those affected by the recent terror attack – which killed one person and injured ten others, whilst they were returning from a local mosque. With the roads, open and life being resumed as normal, the flowers and sweet messages are a reminder that even in times of darkness, we refuse to be afraid and are instead determined to love more.
This solidarity was as present as ever on Monday night when hundreds of people held a vigil in Finsbury Park for the victims of the terror attack. Darren Osborne, aged 47, allegedly drove a van into a crowd of worshippers near the Welfare House in Finsbury Park at around 12:30am on Monday. As it is currently Ramadan, this was a particularly important time for the worshippers, who were clearly targeted in this malicious attack. Witnesses reported hearing the attacker shout: “I’m going to kill all Muslims”. After he was detained by other worshippers, the police were called and he was arrested on suspicion of instigation of terrorism and attempted murder.
Less than 24 hours after the attack, people gathered together, holding flowers and signs saying ‘United against all terror’ and ‘#WeStandTogether’. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick was in attendance, and she initiated a short silence to remember the victims of the attack. Also, present at the vigil was Mohammed Kozba, Chairman of Finsbury Park mosque, who said that there had been a “great response” from the local community following this attack.
“Yesterday we all experienced a horrific attack on our families, on our freedom, on our dignity. A man, a father of six children, being killed in cold blood and many injured by an extremist, by a terrorist,” he said.
“These people, these extremists, their aim is to divide our communities, is to spread hatred, fear and division among our communities. We all have harmony in this area, and these people try to divide us, but we tell them that we will not let you do that.”
If there is one good thing that can come out of the dark events the UK has been facing recently, it is that amidst all of the devastation, we all come together to support each other and we will never bow down to evil.
If you have been affected by the recent events and would like emotional support, we have a 24-hr helpline, with advisers available to listen and provide you with helpful advice. Please call on 020 7686 6000.