Finsbury Park: Remember Makram Ali

19 06 18

Today we remember Makram Ali, murdered by Darren Osborne one year ago outside Muslim Welfare House mosque in Finsbury Park, London.

One year ago today

Muslim-hating Osborne drove a rented van from Wales to London during Ramadan last year. Unable to attack a march, he drove the crowded streets until he found a target: a crowd of worshippers trying to help a collapsed man, Mr Ali, lying on the pavement.

Osborne ploughed into the group and ran over Mr Ali, 51, killing him, and wounding nine others. It was a miracle more were not injured.

Finsbury Park killer, Darren Osborne

The judge said:

“The diversity of the group you tried to kill is striking: there were young people, old people, a group of deaf people, at least one man using a wheel-chair was struck and thrown from it. You hit men and women.”

She also said:

“Who are you Darren Osborne? You are 48 years of age and have four children. You have not worked for 10 years. You abused alcohol. You were described as a loner and nondescript. You have 102 criminal convictions acquired from your youth onwards.”

Osborne had been rapidly radicalised over the internet, after watching a BBC drama about a ‘grooming’ scandal. He devoured material from ‘Tommy Robinson’ (Stephen Lennon) and Britain First, turning his hatred to Muslims.

The true hero that night was Muslim Welfare House imam, Mohammed Mahmoud, who saved Osborne from any retribution from the crowds that swiftly gathered, until police arrived. Osborne had wanted to die after the attack.

Imam Mohammed Mahmoud and other Muslim Welfare House officials

Mahmoud, unlike Osborne, showed the best of humanity at a time when the worst was on show.

There was “no doubt” that far-right material posted online by the likes of ‘Tommy Robinson’ and Britain First drove the Finsbury Park terror attacker to target Muslims, the UK’s most senior counter-terror officer, Mark Rowley, said this February.

Mark Rowley, highly critical of ‘Tommy Robinson’

He said both Islamists and the far right were “executing a common strategy” by exploiting existing grievances in target communities, generating distrust of state institutions and then “offering warped parallel alternatives”.

Rowley compared ‘Tommy Robinson’ to hate preacher Anjem Choudary, saying:

“Such figures represented no more than the extreme margins of the communities they claim to speak for yet they have been given prominence and a platform.”

Robinson’s reaction was to say he wanted to “find” Rowley.

Today we remember Makram Ali and all those who lost their lives to terror last year, as well as those who were injured and the families left to cope with grief and trauma, and redouble our determination to oppose the preachers of hate, who offer nothing but an empty diet of violence and fear.

Makram Ali, murdered by Darren Osborne

There are those who have used Osborne’s actions as an excuse to wage a campaign of intimidation and hate against Muslim Welfare House. It will not work.

Two years after Jo Cox lost her life to a white supremacist terrorist, we can say those who offer nothing but hatred will lose. People came together in the most amazing ways after Jo was murdered.

We will come together again whenever extremists seek to divide us.


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