‘As­sault on all our shared val­ues’: Khan

Metro Canada (Ottawa) - - Canada/world -

The rash of deadly ter­ror at­tacks that has rat­tled Britain in re­cent months took an omi­nous new turn on Mon­day as Mus­lim wor­ship­pers be­came tar­gets dur­ing the holy month of Ra­madan, mowed down by an at­tacker who plowed a van into a crowd leav­ing prayers at two mosques in north Lon­don.

It was the same tac­tic Is­lamic ex­trem­ists used in re­cent as­saults on West­min­ster Bridge and Lon­don Bridge. Those at­tacks and a third out­side a pop con­cert in Manch­ester have trig­gered a surge in hate crimes against Mus­lims around Britain.

Bri­tish au­thor­i­ties, in­clud­ing Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May, and Is­lamic lead­ers moved swiftly to ease con­cerns in the Mus­lim com­mu­nity fol­low­ing the at­tack shortly af­ter mid­night that in­jured at least nine peo­ple in Lon­don’s Fins­bury Park neigh­bour­hood, which is home to a large Mus­lim pop­u­la­tion. Au­thor­i­ties said the in­ci­dent was be­ing treated as a ter­ror at­tack. One man died at the scene, al­though he was re­ceiv­ing first aid at the time and it wasn’t clear if he died as a re­sult of the at­tack.

Bri­tish me­dia iden­ti­fied the sus­pect as Dar­ren Os­borne, a 47-year-old Bri­ton and fa­ther of four liv­ing in Cardiff, Wales, who was not known to au­thor­i­ties be­fore the at­tack. De­tails about Os­borne were sketchy, but the as­sault — the most dra­matic against Mus­lims in Lon­don in re­cent years — sug­gested a new, dan­ger­ous level of po­lar­iza­tion in Bri­tish so­ci­ety.

Mayor Sadiq Khan, Lon­don’s first Mus­lim mayor, also urged res­i­dents to stand to­gether.

“While this ap­pears to be an at­tack on a par­tic­u­lar com­mu­nity, like the ter­ri­ble at­tacks in Manch­ester, West­min­ster and Lon­don Bridge, it is also an as­sault on all our shared val­ues of tol­er­ance, free­dom and re­spect,” Khan said, adding that there would be “zero tol­er­ance” for hate crimes.

May said po­lice would as­sess se­cu­rity at mosques and pro­vide any ad­di­tional re­sources needed ahead of up­com­ing cel­e­bra­tions mark­ing the end of Ra­madan.

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