UK Chief Rabbi Leads Jewish Condemnation of Terror Attack on London Muslims
British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis led UK Jewish community leaders in expressing condemnation of the terror attack against a Muslim community center in North London on Sunday night.
One person was killed and 10 people were injured by a van driven into a crowd of Muslim worshippers who were assembled outside of the Muslim Welfare Center in Finsbury Park shortly after midnight, in what appeared to be a copycat attack following recent Islamist terror outrages in London. Police in London said the driver of the vehicle was a 48-year-old white man who was taken into custody and the incident was being treated as a “terrorist attack.”
Witnesses at the scene reported that the man had shouted, “I’m going to kill Muslims.”
In a statement issued shortly after he hosted an interfaith “Iftar” meal to break the Ramadan fast at his home, Rabbi Mirvis said, “It is heartbreaking to hear of yet another deadly attack on the streets of London, this time targeting Muslims who had been at prayer.”
“This is a painful illustration of why we must never allow hatred to breed hatred,” the chief rabbi continued. “It creates a downward spiral of violence and terror with only further death and greater destruction.”
“As ever our thoughts and prayers are with those affected and may each of us resolve to respond to this latest tragedy with the same compassion and determination not to be divided, which has defined our society over recent months,” Mirvis concluded.
Jonathan Arkush — president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews — also condemned the attack. “The way forward is to strengthen the moderate majority and repudiate and marginalize extremism of every type,” Arkush said. “Hatred of people because of their religion has no place in our society.”
Israeli Ambassador to the UK Mark Regev added his voice on Twitter, describing the assault as a “vile terror attack.”
#FinsburyPark was a vile terror attack targeted against worshippers during Ramadan, a month of peace. Israel stands in solidarity w/London.
— Mark Regev (@AmbMarkRegev) June 19, 2017
From New York, World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder denounced “the abhorrent and vicious attack carried out against innocent people gathered to worship during the holy month of Ramadan.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families, and we stand together with the people of London in confronting another horrible act of terror,” Lauder said in a statement.
British Prime Minister Theresa May called the Finsbury Park attack “every bit as sickening” as the Islamist attacks of recent weeks.