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Corbyn: ‘We will never allow racists to divide us’

On the first anniversary of Finsbury Park terror attack, Labour leader praises community’s ‘magnificent’ response

22 June, 2018 — By Emily Finch

Jeremy Corbyn speaking on the town hall steps

JEREMY Corbyn led a minute’s silence to mark the anniversary of the Finsbury Park terror attack on Tuesday.

The Labour leader was joined by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and family members of Makram Ali, who was killed by far-right sympathiser Darren Osborne.

Mr Ali had left the Muslim Welfare House mosque, off Seven Sisters Road, on June 19 last year when he was struck by a rental van driven from Wales by Osborne.

Speaking on the town hall steps, the Islington North MP, who lives close to the scene of the attack, warned that racism thrived within divided communities.

“We will absolutely never allow them [people driven by racism] to divide us,” he said.

“The greatest answer to those that seek to divide us by racism is to show that if we are divided we cannot achieve anything. Divided communities blame each other – for housing, for health, for schools. At the end of that whole blame game absolutely nothing has been achieved, only division and hatred. which goes intergenerational.”

Imam Mohammed Mahmoud

He praised the response of the borough in the wake of the attack and the actions of Muslim Welfare House imam Mohammed Mahmoud, who bravely prevented Osborne from being harmed by enraged passers-by after the attack.

Mr Corbyn told those present: “In Makram’s memory, stay united, stay together, support each other, that we can achieve that better society I believe we all fundamentally crave for.”

The response of emergency services, the local authority and the community had been “absolutely magnificent”, he said. “Magnificent in its immediate response but also its human element.

“Imam Mohammed Mahmoud did a brilliant and wonderful job in making sure that hatred of racism didn’t turn into violence and anger on the streets that night.

“He helped ensure we came together as a community, because that is the only response there can ever be to the racists that seek to divide us.”

Islington South MP Emily Thornberry, Home Secretary Sajid Javid and Town Hall leader Richard Watts were also present

During Osborne’s trial at Woolwich Crown Court the jury was told he was “brainwashed” by far-right material found online. He was jailed for a minimum of 43 years for murder and attempted murder in February.

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