Plaque tribute to Finsbury Park terrorist van attack victim
Makram Ali was killed when vehicle was driven into worshippers leaving the Muslim Welfare House
16 March, 2018 — By Helen Chapman
Family, friends and neighbours at the unveiling of the plaque in Clifton Court Garden
THE daughter of a man killed in a terrorist attack in Finsbury Park said the tragedy “brought the community together and made us stronger”.
Family and friends of Makram Ali gathered to unveil a plaque next to a tree planted at Clifton Court Garden, Finsbury Park, near his home, to commemorate their father yesterday (Thursday).
Mr Ali’s daughter Ruzina Akhtar said: “We have lost our humble and much-loved father due to an act of racism and hatred – an event that shocked us, the community and those around us.”
She added: “Although that day was filled with so much anger, agony and uncertainty, it brought the community together and made us stronger from the love that was shown to us from everyone around us.
“These acts of terrorism were set to divide us but have only made us stronger.”
Ms Akhtar said the location was chosen because it was where he had “spent his last few years with his grandchildren”. She said: “He would play football with my youngest and he would run around with my nephews and nieces. I can now vividly remember the smile and laughter on his face. He was the perfect family man.”
Mr Ali died when Darren Osborne drove his van into worshippers leaving the Muslim Welfare House in Seven Sisters Road last June. Mr Osborne was jailed for life for murder and attempted murder last month.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick and Islington Council leader Richard Watts paid tributes yesterday.
Statements were then read from MP Jeremy Corbyn and House of Commons Speaker John Bercow.
Mr Khan told the Tribune: “It’s really important to show solidarity with Makram’s family, who have been through an awful 10 months. I think it’s wonderful they have planted this tree and are unveiling this plaque in honour of somebody who was a victim of terrorism.
“You [the people of Islington] are an example to our city and our country. The way you have stayed united, the way you have demonstrated the best of London.
“When this man tried to divide us, the way you behaved from the moment he smashed his car into the people has been exemplary – from the imam who prevented him being beaten up to the locals who helped the injured.
“The act of solidarity makes me incredibly proud to be the mayor of this great city. The people of Islington deserve huge credit for coming together and showing the best of religion and the best of Islington.”