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English cardinal calls for peace and more understanding after London mosque attack

London attack

Call for peace: A police officer stands in front of messages and tributes on June 19 left near where a man died and 10 people were injured after a van was rammed into a crowd of worshippers near a mosque in north London. A 48-year-old man was arrested after the collision with pedestrians outside the Muslim Welfare House, police said. Photos: CNS

BRITISH Prime Minister Theresa May has vowed that “hatred and evil” of the kind seen in a terror attack on London’s Finsbury Park mosque that left one man dead will never succeed.

After the fourth terror attack in the United Kingdom in the past three months, Mrs May stood ashen faced yet resolute inside the mosque, flanked by police and representatives of different religions, declaring “… all faiths united in one desire to see extremism and hatred of all sorts driven out of our society”.

One person was killed and 10 others were injured when the lone assailant drove a van into a crowd of Muslims gathered near the Finsbury Park mosque, where they had been attending Ramadan prayers.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster said he was appalled at the attack and assured Muslim leaders “of our prayers and support”.

“Violence breeds violence. Hatred breeds hatred,” Cardinal Nichols said.

“Every one of us must repudiate hatred and violence from our words and actions.

“We must all be builders of understanding, compassion and peace, day by day, in our homes, our work and our communities. That is the only way.”

A 48-year-old man was overpowered by Muslim bystanders and was restrained until he was arrested by police officers who arrived within minutes.

Witnesses reported that the assailant repeatedly said: “I want to kill Muslims.”

The assailant was also reportedly down on the ground as angry bystanders tried to punch and kick him, until the mosque’s imam stepped in to stop further violence, before police arrived.

The attack follows two terrorist attacks by Muslim extremists in London, in which vehicles were used to kill pedestrians, and a suicide bomb attack after a concert by Ariana Grande in Manchester in May that left 22 people dead.

Secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain Harun Khan described the latest attack as a “violent manifestation” of Islamophobia.

The Muslim Association of Britain has called on police to increase security in mosques.

It also demanded politicians “treat this major incident no less than a terrorist attack”.

Mrs May described the latest attack as targeting “the ordinary and the innocent going about their daily lives”.

“London is diverse, welcoming, vibrant and compassionate,” she said.

“These are the values that define us. These are the values that will prevail.”

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