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London - Imam Stops Angry Muslims Assailing London Van Suspect

Published on: June 19, 2017 11:04 AM
By: Reuters
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Mohammed Mahmud, the iman of the Muslim Welfare House, speaks to journalists about the van that driven was driven at muslims in Finsbury Park, North London, Britain, June 19, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay Mohammed Mahmud, the iman of the Muslim Welfare House, speaks to journalists about the van that driven was driven at muslims in Finsbury Park, North London, Britain, June 19, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

London - An imam intervened to stop local residents from beating a man accused of driving into people on Monday outside a London mosque after Ramadan prayers, and one official said “his bravery and courage” potentially saved the man’s life.

The suspect was yanked from the cab of his van by a furious crowd as he sought to reverse and escape after injuring 10 people in what police said was a deliberate attack on Muslims that was being treated as terrorism.

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The man was being held down, beaten and kicked when Muslim cleric Mohammed Mahmoud stepped in to plead with people just to restrain him until police arrived.

“We found that a group of people quickly started to collect around him, around the assailant and some tried to hit him either with kicks or punches. By God’s grace we managed to surround him and to protect him from any harm,” Mahmoud said.

“We managed to extinguish any flames of anger or mob rule that might have taken charge,” he told reporters, adding he was acting with “a group of mature brothers”.

The suspect had been shouting earlier “I’ve done my bit”, aid Toufik Kacimi, the chief executive of the nearby Muslim Welfare House community center, who praised the imam’s courage.

“(The imam’s) bravery and courage helped calm the immediate situation after the incident and prevented further injuries and potential loss of life,” he said.

If confirmed by authorities as terrorism, this would be the fourth such attack in Britain since March and the third to involve a vehicle driven at pedestrians.

The suspect was described by police as a 48-year-old white man, who was taken into custody.

“I’ve just seen sheer pandemonium. People on the floor screaming. People bleeding. I’ve seen the guy being held on the floor,” Ibn Oman told Reuters at the scene. “(The Imam) did the right thing. He had to stop people.”

The London mayor praised the imam’s actions.

“PLEASE STEP BACK”

Mahmoud called on the incensed worshippers not to commit a sin during the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

“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,’” said Mohammed, a 29-year-old cafe owner who was one of three men who held the suspect down, The Guardian newspaper reported.

“For that reason this guy is still alive today,” he added.

“He tried to run away but we brought him down. He would’ve died because so many people were punching him,” an eyewitness who gave his name as Abdul told The Independent.

There were more angry scenes as police arrived and protected the accused man as he was put into a police vehicle. The van had hit people assisting an elderly man who had collapsed, and who later died. It was not clear if he died because of the attack,

The attack comes just over two weeks after three Islamist militants drove into pedestrians on London Bridge and stabbed people at nearby restaurants and bars, killing eight. Since then incidents of hate crime have risen, police say.



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Read Comments (5)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jun 19, 2017 at 11:19 AM PaulinSaudi Says:

London is having a bad run. I am pleased the killer is in custody where he can be questioned. He may allow the police to roll up an entire terror ring.

2

 Jun 19, 2017 at 12:07 PM triumphinwhitehouse Says:

This is proof Islam is a religion of peace lol

3

 Jun 19, 2017 at 12:50 PM Abe999 Says:

He would be even a bigger hero if he would STOP preaching hate !

4

 Jun 19, 2017 at 01:07 PM The_Truth Says:

If this was the other way around, the media & officials would say: " Lets not jump to conclusions, wait until police conduct their investigation, or the guy goes to trial and is sentenced by a judge if he is guilty... "
No. Since the victims are muslim, the guy gets beaten in the street, only 'saved' by the imam (who is now the hero) and the press cry about the muslim hatred and get police protection in London & NYC.

Just call it how it is. This not terrorism, its revenge.

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 Jun 19, 2017 at 06:17 PM yamsar Says:

Reply to #4  
The_Truth Says:

If this was the other way around, the media & officials would say: " Lets not jump to conclusions, wait until police conduct their investigation, or the guy goes to trial and is sentenced by a judge if he is guilty... "
No. Since the victims are muslim, the guy gets beaten in the street, only 'saved' by the imam (who is now the hero) and the press cry about the muslim hatred and get police protection in London & NYC.

Just call it how it is. This not terrorism, its revenge.

Here is the meaning of terrorism as defined in the dictionary

"the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims"

The attacker Seems to fit the description perfectly

6

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