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Humans

"Terrorists speak the same language and want to divide us"

July 05th, 2017
in:Humans
by:Federica Tedeschi
located in:United Kingdom
tags:Finsbury Park, London, Muslim community, Terror

fairplanet met Mr. Toufik Kacimi, CEO of the Muslim Welfare House, a Community Centre and a Mosque, to shed light on how the atrocity has effected the Muslim community, who has received great support from Londoners of all faiths.

19th June 2017 is a date the Muslim community will not forget, as a van drove into worshippers just outside the Muslim Welfare House in London, killing one man and injuring eleven others; the group was leaving prayers in the early hours of Monday morning. The English attacker, who reportedly screamed ‘I am going to kill all Muslims’, has been charged with terrorism-related and attempted murder. The Muslim community has received great support from Londoners of all faiths.

How do you think this attack has affected the Muslim community in its everyday life?

The Muslim community around this area still feels shocked and vulnerable while trying to come to terms with what has happened. It is such an uncomfortable feeling to know that someone can easily drive into a group of people and kill them.  It has been awful reading certain hate messages against Muslims on social media, just after the attack.  However, the love and the hugs received from the overall British public was overwhelming and brought warmth into our heart. In addition, both the government and the police are here to help and support us. We should never let terrorists win by changing any of our habits, which is why our message during this Eid celebrations was Feel reassured.

Has the attack helped showing the unity of the Islamic organisations internationally?

The overall Muslim community is very united and it is amazing how this atrocity has brought both Islamic and non-Islamic organisations together.

We have been in Finsbury Park for forty years and we have a well-established relationship with Islington Faith Forum, London Faith Forum and Christian Muslim Forum UK, just to mention a few. Because of this, on that very night we supported each other and contained the situation by helping frightened worshippers and liaising with the press.

What do you think is the connection between the attack against the Muslim community and other recent UK attacks against the non-Muslim community?

All attacks are characterised by shared hatred, rage and revenge among terrorists. Extremism has no race or religion, as all faiths are calling for peace. Therefore, I would not talk about Islamic terrorism, Christian terrorism or Buddhist terrorism.

Terrorists speak the same language and want to divide us as a community, they want to see us fighting each other and we have to stop the cycle of violence, which is horrible.

Many volunteers have joined your community after the attack, showing support. What has their biggest contribution been?  

Volunteers from all walks of life and religions, including some from school organisations, did not just help us by doing the cleaning and distributing food & water. They also supported distressed members of our community through the joy of being together as a human family and they stayed with us until the end of Ramadan.

It has been wonderful seeing this global unity against terrorism and extremists are wrong by thinking they will divide us:  they have actually brought the whole community together after the attack. We have received thousands of support cards as well!

You helped organising a large open-air Iftar dinner in Finsbury Park Mosque, where the whole neighborhood was invited. Which message do you believe participants have brought home?

Iftar is the evening meal when Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset. We wanted to break our last fast of the year all together. We prepared about a thousand meals and participants brought food, too. Because people are busy in London, sometimes neighbours do not really know each other, but that day the feeling was special, with people interacting and sharing food. And many came from other areas of London!

The message which run across the whole event was strong: An attack against one community is an attack against all communities. On that day one of our worshippers distributed food incessantly and was the last one to break the fast; this is an authentic demonstration of humanity.

Would you suggest a march against terrorism all together?

We are organising a rally which will hopefully happen soon in July. It is not official yet, however, the plan is to gather in Finsbury Park, in the actual park, and then march to the Finsbury Park Mosque and celebrate our differences and togetherness!

Article written by:
Federica Tedeschi
Author
Current Map: Our coverage
"It is such an uncomfortable feeling to know that someone can easily drive into a group of people and kill them."
"We should never let terrorists win by changing any of our habits, which is why our message during this Eid celebrations was Feel reassured."
It has been wonderful seeing this global unity against terrorism and extremists are wrong by thinking they will divide us: they have actually brought the whole community together after the attack. We have received thousands of support cards as well!

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