IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Katie Hopkins apologises to Finsbury Park Mosque for wrongly linking it to police attack

Mosque took legal action against right-wing commentator

05 October, 2020 — By Helen Chapman

Mohammed Kozbar said he is “pleased” with the apology

CONTROVERSIAL  right-wing commentator Katie Hopkins has made a public apology to Finsbury Park Mosque after accusing it of being responsible for a violent incident.

The mosque hired a solicitor to make a case against Hopkins after she tweeted footage of men attacking Met police officers in May, implying that the perpetrators were members of the mosque’s community.

Chairman of Finsbury Park Mosque Mohammed Kozbar said: “We are pleased and we have accepted her apology.

“We thought if we leave it, it looks like fact. We had to fight it the hard way to prove this is not true and to preserve our reputation in the community. We do not tolerate any hate speech and we will fight it in court if we have to.”

Hopkins’ tweet about an incident in Blackstock Road, dated May 8, read: “Finsbury Park mosque just after 8pm. Officers attacked. 5 representatives of the Religion of Peace arrested. Zero media coverage.”

She later deleted the tweet.

But Mr Kozbar said: “It was a shock [at the time] because we didn’t expect something like that. The incident was quite far from the mosque. The level of threats and comments of abuse we received because of her tweet was incredible.”

Today [Monday] Hopkins issued her apology on social media platforms Instagram and Parler saying: “Having now been informed of the factual inaccuracies of that tweet, I am perfectly happy to correct the record to reflect the fact that the incident was not occurring outside Finsbury Park Mosque but was two streets away.”

In her apology, Hopkins also referred to charitable efforts made by the mosque during the pandemic, including distributing food parcels, adding: “I am genuinely sorry for any offence or hurt felt by Finsbury Park Mosque for this clear factual error and I am happy to put the record straight.”

Mr Kozbar added: “People should think twice before putting anything on social media because people react even if it is not true.

“To put such an allegation in that way without taking into consideration the consequences, not only on the mosque but on the whole Muslim community in general, is wrong.

“The hate aimed at our community from that was really frightening.”

Hopkins’ Twitter account was permanently removed from the network in June following breaches of its “hateful conduct” policy.

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