London Imam responds to violence with love, peace even after attack

LONDON: Mohammed Mahmoud, the Imam from a nearby mosque has been hailed as hero for his “bravery and courage” after he guarded the attacker from an angry after he ploughed his van into Muslim worshippers outside a mosque killing one person and injuring ten others, just after midnight on Sunday in Finsbury Park, Islington.

Witnesses said that an imam from the mosque defended the white driver of the van from angry members of the public and helped to calm the situation until the police could arrive.

“Imam Mohammed Mahmoud’s bravery and courage helped calm the immediate situation after the incident and prevented further injury and loss of life,” Toufik Kacimi, the chief executive of the Muslim Welfare House was quoted by Guardian as saying.

Another witness identified only as Mohammed who was holding the suspect down told Britain’s Guardian newspaper, “The imam came from the mosque and he said, ‘Listen we are fasting, this is Ramadan, we are not supposed to do these kinds of things so please step back.’”

“For that reason this guy is still alive today,” Mohammed added. “This is the only reason. If the imam was not there he wouldn’t be there today.”

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan also showered praises for Mr Mahmoud for “calming things down”.

“The Imam Mohammed did a really good job in calming things down,” he said. “Justice can be done instead of people taking things into their own hands.”

J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series in a tweet, hailed Mahmoud’s actions in shielding the 48-year-old suspected attacker.

“The extraordinary decency and courage of this act has brought me to tears this morning,” she wrote. “I hope this imam gets the recognition he deserves.”

Several worshippers were in the area at the time of incident after attending Ramzan prayers.