London imam saved the Finsbury Park attacker from being lynched

DAILY SABAH WITH AFP
ISTANBUL
Published
Mohammed Mahmoud (C), an Imam at Finsbury Park Mosque, gives a statement to the media at a police cordon in the Finsbury Park area of north London on June 19, 2017, following a vehicle attack on pedestrians. (AFP Photo)
Mohammed Mahmoud (C), an Imam at Finsbury Park Mosque, gives a statement to the media at a police cordon in the Finsbury Park area of north London on June 19, 2017, following a vehicle attack on pedestrians. (AFP Photo)

Mohammed Mahmoud, an imam, prevented the Finsbury Park attacker, who drove his van into a group of worshippers at the Muslim Welfare House on Seven Sisters Road in north London on June 19, from being beaten by the angry crowd.

Mohammed Mahmoud tried to keep people calm as police arrested the attacker. He and several people made a circle around the police officer as he took the 48-year-old attacker away.

Because of the imam's protective attitude towards the attacker, the crowd got angrier and one asked 'Why did you do that? Why?'

According to 28-year-old eyewitness Hussain Ali's testimony, he told the crowd not to touch him and protect him.

Members of the Muslim Welfare House stood behind the imam since he hindered more injury and death with his attitudes at the scene. According to their statement, the imam's act was a sign of bravery and courage.

"The Muslim Community in this area is horrified at this incident and is concerned and shocked at the events. We have worked very hard over decades to build a peaceful and tolerant community here in Finsbury Park and we totally condemn any act of hate that tries to drive our wonderful community apart," they stated.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said the attack is being treated "as a terrorist incident" and that an investigation is being led by the Counter Terrorism Command.

Sadiq Khan, London's mayor, promised additional policing to relieve the Muslim community. According to him, the attack was "an assault on all our shared values of tolerance, freedom and respect" and urged people to remain "calm and vigilant."

The attack left one person dead, and nine others hospitalized.

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