Jeremy Corbyn breaks fast with Muslims on Finsbury Park attack anniversary
Jeremy Corbyn has broken fast with members of the north London Muslim community to mark two years since the Finsbury Park mosque attack.
The Labour leader promoted a message of unity as he joined the daughter of victim Makram Ali at a community street iftar meal outside Finsbury Park mosque on Tuesday evening.
It marks the 17th day of Ramadan and the second anniversary of the attack, according to the lunar calendar observed in Islam.
Mr Ali, 70, was killed when Darren Osborne ploughed a hired van into worshippers gathered outside the Muslim Welfare House shortly after evening Ramadan prayers in June 2017.
He died at the scene while 12 worshippers were injured.
Mr Corbyn, who lives nearby, told those gathered over the road from the attack on Tuesday evening that targeting a place of worship was an ”attack on all of us”.
The Labour leader added: “I want our children to grow up in a world of diversity of wonder and of beauty, but if they grow up in a world dominated by discrimination and hate, then their lives will be less exciting, their lives will be less imaginative, and above all the collective problems we face cannot be solved.
“Those that divide our community don’t build houses that people need to live in.
“Don’t build schools that are children need to learn in.
“They don’t build hospitals that we all need to be cared in.
“They don’t solve any of those problems, and a world riven with division will not be able to deal with the huge issue that we all face of climate change and the damage we are doing to our natural world.”
He was also joined by Conservative MP Dominic Grieve and Ruzina Akhtar, Mr Ali’s daughter, who addressed the gathering.
She said: “Two years on after the tragic loss of my father, it is still most beautiful to continue to see that the community is able to get together to celebrate events like today.
“Communities are only able to stand united because we don’t give into these terrorists and racists who set out to divide us.
“We need to continue to show that no matter what the situation we will come out stronger and better than before.”
For the evening event, St Thomas’s Road was blocked off at both ends by police vans while officers patrolled the feast area close to where the terror attack took place.
Ahead of its start, Finsbury Park Station was temporary closed due to a suspicious vehicle in the vicinity, reopening shortly after.
By the end of the evening, at least two thousand people are expected to join the meal, organised by Muslim Aid, Finsbury Park mosque and the Muslim Welfare House.