This is a statement from the Co-Chairs of the Barnet Multi Faith Forum and Communities Together Network (CTN) following the attack at Muslim Welfare House on Seven Sisters Road, London on Monday 19th June:
The CTN expresses shock, and sadness at the terrorist incident that took place in the early hours of Monday 19th June, outside Muslim Welfare House on Seven Sisters Road in the London Borough of Islington, as Muslim worshippers were leaving the Finsbury Park Mosque after evening prayers. We condemn this act of extremism, terror and religious hatred and endorse the comment of Es Rosen, Chair of Barnet Multi Faith Forum that “We regard an attack on one faith at prayer as an attack on all faiths."
We want to reassure residents that we will resist all attempts to undermine community cohesion and share the view of the Prime Minister, Theresa May, of this “Sickening attempt to break those bonds of friendship that define the United Kingdom"
We give thanks for their bravery, to the members of the public and members of the Mosque who offered their assistance and to the commitment and skill of the emergency services and hospitals. Borough Police are in contact with the Local Authority and the mosques and there will be enhanced police patrols and more presence around faith premises particularly mosques at peak times such as Iftar prayers and Eid.
We are proud of our longstanding tradition that Barnet’s diverse communities get on well together and work hard to ensure that all our residents feel valued, share a sense of belonging and are able to go about their daily lives in safety and with peace of mind. We are resolved to keep Barnet a place where people of all faiths and none can live peacefully with their neighbours.
Shakil Ahmed, Head Teacher of Ayesha Community School said, “As proud members of Barnet’s diverse communities, we are saddened by the attack outside Muslim Welfare House. We condemn all such terrorist attacks and urge communities to stand together against all forms of terrorism and hate. As a school we feel it is incredibly important to educate our young people about a positive, cohesive perspective on their future and promote virtues of tolerance, respect for humanity, justice and equality”.
Barnet will not tolerate any act of hate or and we ask all those living, working and studying in Barnet to seek support and assistance from community groups, faith leaders and the local police if they are the victim of such crimes. If you witness any act of hate crime (including disability, race and religion) or violence, please report this to the police. You can report the incident to the police using 999 in emergency situations or 101 for less urgent situations. Details of reporting a hate crime can also be found on the Council’s website at https://www.barnet.gov.uk/citizenhome/housing-and-community/community-safety/hate-crime.html
To report anything suspicious, members of the public are advised to call the AntiTerrorist hotline on 0800 789 321.