British Muslims for Secular Democracy are deeply saddened by yet another terrorist attack in London which has resulted in the loss of one life and numerous injuries. Our sympathies go to the families of the deceased and the injured.
Muslim communities in Britain have been at risk from Islamist terrorists who do not distinguish between Muslims and non-Muslims when carrying out their attacks. The latest incident in Finsbury Park appears to demonstrate that they now under threat of revenge attacks by vigilante terrorists for actions innocent British Muslims have neither committed nor condone.
The timing of these UK attacks is once again very significant. People of Britain as a nation stand divided along political lines and crucial issues such as Brexit. Terrorism seeks to deepen the divide and exploit the vulnerabilities we are currently facing. Like the recent attacks elsewhere in London and Manchester this is yet another senseless, cruel attack against innocent people by a terrorist who appears to be motivated by hate. We are alarmed as this incident signals the shift of anti-Muslim bigotry from racial slurs and relatively minor physical attacks into full scale murderous terrorist attacks. Some of the responses on social media, and comments posted by members of the public which appear to be condoning the attack, are equally distressing and deeply worrying.
We urge the government to take this attack as seriously as the previous Islamist terrorist attacks and to recognise the dangers that far right populism poses to the very fabric of our society. Anti-Radicalisation initiatives must target Islamicist as well as far right individuals and organisations.
Dr Shaaz Mahboob of the BMSD said “this cowardly attack must be unequivocally condemned by all British communities, just as they all came together in the wake of London Bridge and Manchester attacks. British Muslim communities must remain resilient, disciplined and work harder to build a positive image for themselves which above all other strategies will help foster lasting strong bonds with the rest of the British society. Strong cohesive relationships with the wider society can and will defeat the twisted, hateful ideologies harboured by a tiny minority within.”