Local imam reacts to attack outside London mosque

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Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the "sickening" incident, saying Britain's determination to fight "terrorism, extremism and hatred. must be the same, whoever is responsible".

He told Asharq Al-Awsat that the attack was aimed at "spreading fear and terror among the people", but hailed the imam of the mosque for stopping the angry worshipers from retaliating against the attacker.

The attack "targeted the ordinary and the innocent. this time British Muslims as they left the mosque", she said, adding that police would provide any additional protection needed for mosques.

Assistant chief constable Nick Adderley from Staffordshire Police said: "We are all shocked by the appalling attack in London".

"While this appears to be an attack on a particular community, like the bad attacks in Manchester, Westminster and London Bridge, it is also an assault on all our shared values of tolerance, freedom and respect", Khan said, adding that there would be "zero tolerance" for hate crimes.

Other witnesses told Sky television that the van had hit at least 10 people.

"Diverse, welcoming, vibrant, compassionate, confident and determined never to give in to hate".

One victim of Monday's attack has no memory of what happened, according to a nephew who did not wish to be identified.

He was tackled to the ground by members of the public and bravely guarded from harm by a local imam, Mohammed Mahmoud, until police took him into custody.

Neil Basu, senior national co-ordinator for counter-terrorism policing, said restraint shown by locals was "commendable".

The Finsbury Park Mosque gained notoriety more than a decade ago for sermons by radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri, who was sentenced to life in a US prison in January 2015 after being convicted of terrorism-related charges.

7 still hospitalized after London mosque attack
The attack is the fourth since March in Britain and the third to involve a vehicle deliberately driven at pedestrians. He said on behalf of the family: "We are massively shocked; it's unbelievable, it still hasn't really sunk in".

She said: "It's a bad, awful shock".

"This was an attack on Muslims near their place of worship".

He added that the attack had "all the hallmarks" of a terrorist attack.

Witness Abdul Rahman, who told the BBC he struck the driver and helped subdue him, also claimed the man had said he wanted to "kill all Muslims".

But some anxious that the attack would still cause further problems for Finsbury Park's Muslim community during the holy month of Ramadan. "And the reason that so many people have turned up today from all sorts of different faith communities is because we want to stand in solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters". Nearby, evening prayer services had just concluded at the larger Finsbury Park Mosque, which had been associated with extremist ideology for several years after the 9/11 attacks in the United States.

The incident comes just over two weeks after three Islamist militants drove into pedestrians on London Bridge and stabbed people at nearby restaurants and bars, killing eight. The police said all were Muslims.

He said: "An attack on a mosque, an attack on a synagogue, an attack on a church, is actually an attack on all of us".

On March 22, a man drove a rented vehicle into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in London and stabbed a policeman to death before being shot dead.

A vehicle and knife attack on March 22 in London killed four pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and a police officer guarding the British parliament. "We will stay a strong city", the mayor said.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the ongoing investigation into an attack on worshippers outside a mosque in London.

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