Jews stand in solidarity with Muslims after Finsbury Park mosque attack: 'They will not divide us'

Members of London's Jewish community are standing in solidarity with Muslims following an apparent terror attack outside a mosque on 18 June. At least one person was killed and another ten injured when a man rammed a van into pedestrians outside a mosque in Finsbury Park, east London.

The victims of the attack were Muslims who had gone to the mosque to pray after Iftar, the break of the dawn-to-dusk fast observed during the holy month of Ramadan.


The 48-year-old suspect, whose identity has not been disclosed, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and is now in police custody.


"The Jewish community stands completely with the Muslim community, the people who commit these violent crimes try to divide us but we are stronger together, we have tremendous admiration and respect for the Muslim community," David Curtis, from a synagogue in Finchley, North London, told IBTimes UK. He was among the people who had gone to Finsbury Park to show solidarity following the attack.


"I spoke with my rabbi today about this event and then I came here," he continued. "I speak for the whole Jewish community when I say that we are reaching out to our Muslim brothers and sisters to stay united."


Curtis made the comments as some Muslims living in the area of the attack told IBTimes UK they feared attacks against members of the Muslim community were on the rise.


Witnesses and survivors of the attack said violence against Muslims in London is common and it increases in the aftermath of terror attacks – such as the one in London Bridge – committed by people "labelled as Muslims".


"The mosque attack was just an example, but we live in fear every day," a Muslim man, who spoke on conditions of anonymity, told IBTimes UK. "The media are quick to say, every time there is an attack, that it is committed by a Muslim, so people end up hating Muslims."


Prime Minister Theresa May said the Metropolitan Police declared it a "terrorist incident" within eight minutes and that extra police resources had been deployed to reassure communities.


"This was an attack on Muslims near their place of worship. And like all terrorism, in whatever form, it shares the same fundamental goal," May said. "It seeks to drive us apart; and to break the precious bonds of solidarity and citizenship that we share in this country. We will not let this happen."


She added: "It is a reminder that terrorism, extremism and hatred take many forms; and our determination to tackle them must be the same whoever is responsible. As I said here two weeks ago, there has been far too much tolerance of extremism in our country over many years – and that means extremism of any kind, including Islamophobia."


Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said "terrorism is terrorism. We're a great city. We can't allow these terrorists to fuel division or to change the way we lead our lives."


This is the fourth terror attack to occur on British soil in recent months. At least seven people were killed and 48 injured in a knife and a vehicle assault in London bridge in June.


Suicide bomber Salman Abedi killed at least 22 people – including children – at the Manchester Arena during an Ariana Grande concert on 22 May.


In March, four people were killed when British-born Khalid Masood ploughed his car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and outside the Palace of Westminster.