IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Sadiq Khan and Jeremy Corbyn join Ramadan meal near site of terror attack

Mayor praised diverse community for "breaking bread together" hours after attack

20 June, 2017 — By Emily Finch

Sadiq Khan, flanked by mosque leader Toufik Kacimi, addressed leaders and worshippers last night

London Mayor Sadiq Khan praised religious and community leaders for “breaking bread together” at an Iftar meal at a Finsbury Park mosque – less than 24 hours after a terror attack outside left a man dead and 1o others injured.

The event at Muslim Welfare House mosque saw speeches from Brendan Cox, the husband of the murdered MP, Jo Cox, Islington North MP and Labour
leader Jeremy Corbyn and Mr Khan before the meal.

Iftar is the meal eaten by Muslims after sunset during Ramadan and was scheduled before the attack, but after yesterday’s shocking events it became an opportunity to celebrate the values of multiculturalism and unity.

Mr Khan shook hands with all forty guests which included the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Cressida Dick, Islington councillors and leaders from Islington churches.

Mr Khan said: “What the terrorists at London Bridge, in Manchester, and Westminster Bridge and last night share, is the fact that they hate what’s going on here tonight.

“Just look around you. This is what they hate, the fact that Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, those members of organised faiths, and those that are men and women, old and young, can be friends and break bread together and celebrate, respect and embrace each other.”

Jeremy Corbyn, with Toufik Kacimi, chief executive of the Muslim Welfare House

Mr Corbyn praised the Muslim community after thanking the young men who rushed to help the victims of Monday’s attack when a man drove a van into worshippers leaving the mosque in Seven Sisters Road.

“We should understand that the tenets of Islam are of peace. Are of justice. Are of community. And are of giving and support for charity and each other,” he said.

He also said the van attack and the Manchester Arena bomb in May which killed 22 people aimed to divide communities.

“There’s only one answer after the events of last night. We all know what the answer is, we stay together. We do not allow ourselves to be divided by those who hate and try and divide us,” he added.

Brendan Cox held up flowers for victims as he spoke

Brendan Cox, whose MP wife was killed by a far-right extremist last June, thanked the Muslim community for their support following his wife’s death.

“All those of us who have gone through similar things are here for you, and if there’s anything we can do to provide you with the love and support that your families need in the next period, then I will be very pleased and humbled to do so,” he said.

The chief executive of the Muslim Welfare House, Toufik Kacimi, told the Tribune the response from the Islington community had been “fantastic”, pointing to the fact councillors and faith leaders supporting the mosque throughout the previous night.

He added: “The police were there from the first few minutes and Jeremy Corbyn was there all day and all night with us.”

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