Monday 19 June 2017

After Finsbury Park attack, solidarity with Muslim brothers & sisters – No to the fascist EDL & Britain First!

Anti fascists will be shocked and appalled at the Islamophobic attack by a man who used a van to mow down Muslims leaving late evening prayers from London’s Finsbury Park Mosque and the Muslim Welfare House, last night. One man died and at least 10 others were injured in this vicious act. Eye witnesses say that the attacker shouted, ‘I want to kill all Muslims’, at the scene. Counter-terrorism police are investigating the attack.

A man was arrested and has been charged with attempted murder. He is named as Darren Osborne, 47, from Cardiff.

General secretary of the Finsbury Park mosque Mohammed Kozbar said: “An attack on one faith is an attack on all faiths and communities. They will try to divide us… they will not succeed.”

The secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), Harun Khan, tweeted that the van had “intentionally run over worshippers” and that he was “shocked and outraged”.In a statement, the MCB added that it was a “violent manifestation of Islamophobia” and called for extra security around mosques. There is a vigil tomorrow night, in solidarity, at the Mosque,

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbot and many others eg the London Mayor, alongside trades unionists and campaigners,  have gone to the Mosque to express support and solidarity with all there and all affected.

Anti fascists will note that the Islamophobic nature of the attack does not take place in a vacuum. Two fascist groups who aim to march this Saturday, in Birmingham (Britain First) and London (the EDL) have a long record in citing Islamophobic attacks. BF’s leaders are banned from every mosque following a series of attempts to intimidate Muslims at their places of  worship.

Ex EDL leader Tommy Robinson only recently called for ‘militias’ to ‘sort out’ Islam in Britain. He led a 1000 plus strong demonstration in Manchester, this month, which  saw several racist attacks perpetrated by his supporters eg on Sikhs collecting for the homeless.

Thus, anti fascists view with concern that such groups are again parading their hate this weekend. Unite Against Fascism (UAF) is organising broad based opposition to the racist marches. Liverpool recently showed that such methods can seriously undercut the EDL, for instance (see here

We call on all who oppose the fascists to stand against such horror as seen in Finsbury Park and ensure that the racists do not divide us. Details of the mobilisations in Birmingham and London are here, in London, we will meet in Whitehall, at 12noon sharp.

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