North London Mosque attacked after Pope’s speech

Finsbury Park MosqueThe North London Mosque witnessed an attack at 1am on Tuesday 19 September 2006 as two unknown men entered the premises breaking two windows in the process and tried to set a fire. Police were contacted immediately after the two men were spotted, but they failed to act on time. The mosque, formerly known as Finsbury Park Mosque, previously hosted Abu Hamza as its Imam.

It may be that such attacks, coming so soon after the Pope’s address at the University of Regensburg, could have been incited by his remarks condemning the Prophet Muhammad’s actions as “evil and inhuman” and Islam as a faith that he claimed was “spread by the sword”. It could be that the mosque, once home to Abu Hamza and his followers, has become a target for those determined to act on the Pope’s words by, what they believe, is ridding England of intolerance and extremism.

The attack on the Mosque itself, however, “smacks of extremism and is reminiscent of the infamous ‘wars of religion’ that plagued Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, now seen as the historical pinnacle of religious intolerance”, said Harris Bokhari, MAB spokesperson.

“The fact that the mosque is now managed by the mainstream Muslim community reflects the efforts on its part to combat its extreme elements, and is a change that should be welcomed and applauded as opposed to being subjected to hostility. In light of this crime coupled with atrocities currently taking place against Muslim innocents in other parts of the world, the Muslim Association of Britain are organising a ‘Regional Day of Commemoration’ in Manchester on Friday 22nd September.”

Red Hot Curry, 20 September 2007