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Finsbury Park Muslims demand the government tackle Islamophobia

This was just the latest in a series of Islamophobic attacks, Muslim women say

19 June, 2017 — By Emily Finch

Fatima Said speaking at the mosque this afternoon

Women worshippers at Finsbury Park Mosque this afternoon demanded the government tackle far-right extremism and Islamophobia.

In a private meeting with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Islington South MP Emily Thornberry and other MPs, around 30 women gathered at the mosque said the Finsbury Park attack was just the latest in a series of Islamophobic attacks – and called for action.

Fatima Said, 22, a youth volunteer at the mosque, told the crowd her mosque faced an arson attack in 2015 which led to the ladies entrance being covered with a protective metal roof.

“Sadly this is the culmination of years of Islamophobia, throughout the media, from government policy,” she said. “Its very important Theresa May came up, speaking this morning and spoke about setting up a commission to counter extremism.

“It’s very important she includes far right extremism in here because for far too long the muslim community has been seen as the source of terrorism and not the victims of terrorism.”

“We are all terribly afraid, we won’t let this divide us at all. But we need to long-term, really seriously address the issues of far right extremism and not limit it to one group, one entity, we really need to come together and address this issue of Islamophobia in this society.”

Mr Corbyn said: “We want to and are getting the support to protect our mosques just as much as we protect our synagogues, churches and temples. Because an attack on any of us is an attack on all of us. I want also to ensure protection for people on the street, particularly women on the street, on the buses and on the trains.”

The attack comes a year after pig remains were thrown over the gate of the nearby Finsbury Park Mosque in a suspected Islamophobic attack. A bag containing pork sausages and meat remains was found in the grounds of the building in St Thomas’s Road.

And in November 2015 a man set alight a jerry can of petrol and threw it over the gates of the mosque but it did not catch light. There have been no arrests to date.

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