Archbishop visits mosque after Finsbury Park terror attack


The Archbishop of Canterbury (left) sharing iftar with Imam Mohammed Mahmoud (centre) and Toufik Kacimi, CEO of Muslim Welfare House (right)

The Archbishop of Canterbury shared an informal iftar meal on Tuesday with members of Muslim Welfare House, the site of Monday’s terror attack in Finsbury Park.

Toufik Kacimi, CEO of Muslim Welfare House and one of the Presidents of the Christian Muslim Forum, thanked the Archbishop “for showing solidarity and sharing iftar with us.”

The Archbishop addressed worshippers before prayers and said, “The freedom to worship without fear is a right we cherish as a nation.  The appalling attack on Muslims in Finsbury Park is an attack on us all and on the culture and values of our country.”

Anti-Muslim hate crime has increased five-fold since the London Bridge attack and is at an all-time high, but this was the first terror attack directly aimed at Muslims.

The Rt Revd Dr Toby Howarth, Anglican President of CMF, added, “We need to be able to pray and to practise our religions without fear.”

The iftar was attended by Imam Mohammed Mahmoud, who protected the attacker from harm before the police arrived at the scene, the Rt Revd Adrian Newman, Bishop of Hackney, Mohammed Kozbar, Director of Finsbury Park Mosque and Catriona Robertson, Interim Director of CMF.

The Archbishop of Canterbury is the Founding Patron of the Christian Muslim Forum, which arranged the visit.

CMF released a statement on the terror attack on 19 June.

Meeting at Muslim Welfare House, Finsbury Park, with CEO Toufik Kacimi following today's terror attack against Muslims, the Christian Muslim Forum issued the following statement:
1 Muslims across the country are feeling vulnerable
2 Locally & nationally, religious groups have come together to condemn the terror attack
3 The call for calm by Muslim leaders immediately after the attack and today has been effective
4 Christianity & Islam reject violence in the name of religion
5 We need to be able to pray and to practise our religions without fear
6 Terrorism has no religion
7 We will not be divided


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