It was only a matter of time sadly. The attack just after midnight which saw a van being apparently deliberately ploughed into a group of worshippers outside a mosque in Finsbury Park comes after a series of very worrying anti-Muslim incidents over the past couple of weeks.
Just last week I blogged about how a hoax bomb had been left outside a mosque in Paisley with the chilling warning “You’re next.” Other recent incidents have included a man appearing in an online video with a machete ranting about his desire to dismember Muslims and blow up Mosques. He was later arrested and charged by the police.
I have previously written about how the recent ISIS-inspired terrorist attacks appear to have emboldened some racists to be more open about their anti-Muslim bigotry both in words and deeds.
We have many communities in this country and we are all part of one country. If any community is believed to be in danger then it is the duty of the state to ensure that the police have all the necessary resources to counter that danger. That is why we have a police force instead of leaving each community to defend their own places of worship and institutions.
So, the best answer to this appalling attack on worshippers appears to be threefold:
- To ensure that the police have sufficient resources to protect us all
- Challenge all forms of bigotry whether it is anti-Muslim, anti-Jewish or anything else. We all have a role to play in this. Let’s not leave hateful and bigoted views to go unchallenged.
- For the government and media to ensure that they do not wittingly or unwittingly promote bigotry through their own actions.