Was The Finsbury Park Mosque "Incident" Terrorism?
On Monday, just past midnight, a van drove into bystanders outside of London's Finsbury Park Mosque. According to the Muslim Council of Britain and eyewitnesses, many of those injured were worshippers leaving the mosque. And after two van attacks since the month of March alone, London is wondering whether the Finsbury Park "incident" is another terrorist attack.
I write "incident" as opposed to "attack" only because authorities have not confirmed to the public whether or not the tragedy was intentionally caused. Similarly, London's Metropolitan Police spokesman said that it was too soon to say if the incident was indeed a terrorist attack.
Sadiq Khan, London's mayor, ensured that the situation is being thoroughly investigated. According to Vikram Dodd, The Guardian's crime correspondent, counter-terrorism police are assisting local authorities, who are looking into whether the driver's moves were intentional. Prime Minister Theresa May has not yet called the incident an "attack" or terrorism" but said her "thoughts are with those who have been injured, their loved ones and the emergency services on the scene."
Though authorities have not released how many people were injured as a result of the van striking pedestrians, they have said that there are a "number of casualties."
According to The Guardian, one witness gave a grim description of how the events unfolded.
Some have already suggested they suspect the incident was terrorism, though again, authorities have not confirmed that. The Ramadhan Foundation's Mohammed Shafiq, for example, addressed the violence, and deemed that it deliberately targeted Muslims.
Whether or not the incident was an intentional act of violence against the Muslim community has yet to be known. Regardless, it is more important than ever to support the Muslim community and to pay attention to how this pans out.