The Finsbury Park mosque attack: a statement

“As Officers of the APPG for International Freedom of Religion or Belief we are deeply saddened to learn of the attack, in the early hours of 19 June, in which a van was driven into a crowd of Muslim worshippers who were leaving Ramadan prayers at Finsbury Park mosque in North London. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the man who died, and with those who were hurt, and are now in hospital. We welcome the Prime Minister’s earlier statement on the attack declaring that ‘part of our bond is in the fundamental freedom… to practice religion in peace’ and that this attack was a ‘sickening attempt to destroy this freedom and break our bonds as citizens of the United Kingdom’.

“After significant public support from the Muslim community in the wake of the Manchester and London Bridge attacks, it is horrifying to see such violence against innocent people, just because of their faith. According to ‘Tell MAMA’, an organisation recording anti-Muslim hate crime, there has been a 5-fold increase in reports of hate crime since the London Bridge attack.

“In her Shrove Tuesday speech and Easter Message, the Prime Minister agreed that the Her Majesty’s Government must take further measures to ‘stand up for the freedom of people of all religions to practice their beliefs openly and in peace and safety’. We urge HMG to uphold its commitments to protect all those discriminated against or attacked because of their religion or belief, both in the UK and abroad.”