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Finsbury Park terror attack victim was alive when he was struck by van ploughing worshippers

28th Jul 2017
Finsbury Park terror attack victim was alive when he was struck by van ploughing worshippers

Father of six Makram Ali died of “multiple injuries” (Photo: Metropolitan Police)

Elham Asaad Buaras

The autopsy on Makram Ali, the only person killed in the Finsbury Park terror attack – has revealed that he died from “multiple injuries” and not from the “medical episode” he had endured shortly before he was struck by the van that ploughed worshippers in Seven Sisters Road, London.

Forensic Pathologist, Simon Hall, who conducted the post-mortem exam on the father of six said the 51-year-old “was alive when he was struck by the vehicle and he died of multiple injuries.”

The ruling is supported by witnesses who insist Ali had collapsed but was later “sitting up and expressing a wish to return home” before being struck by the van that targeted worshippers near Muslim Welfare House on June 19.

His daughter, who ran to the scene from their nearby home, said he was conscious when she arrived but died of his injuries in the street.

Ali’s family paid tribute to “a quiet, gentle man” who “spent his whole life without any enemies”. Speaking at Ali’s memorial service on July 3, spokesman for the family, Shah Islam, said, “We have lost a husband, father and grandfather”.

Islam told attendees among them the Labour Leader, the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, the Bishop of London and Temporary Assistant Commissioner that the terror attack was “a clear manifestation of hate crime and Islamophobia.” But despite this, “as victims, we hold no grudges against others as our religion teaches love and peace; for indeed we are best as humans when we build bridges, not walls”.

The family also called for national unity: “We as a family have always believed that the actions of one person cannot be a reflection of a whole people and I have no doubt that our father would not wish for there to be any retaliation or recriminations and would urge people to remain calm and to pray for peace in these difficult times.”

Nine people were hospitalised in the terror attack including Ali’s relative Abdul Matin Choudhury who suffered arm and shoulder injuries. Pensioner Hirsiyo Ali, 72, sustained cracked ribs, a 25-year-old Algerian man suffered broken ribs and internal injuries and an unnamed mother of three remains in a coma and has two broken legs.

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Vulnerability, Safeguarding and Counter Extremism, Sarah Newton, MP, who attended Ali’s Memorial said she was “struck by the strength of this community and how it works together in unity” and that “it has never been more important for the nation to stand together against those who seek to divide.”

She further added, “Our prayers are for Makram Ali and family and the heroes at the mosque who intervened and acted so bravely to make sure that calm and unity prevailed.”


Heroic Imam

In the immediate hours after the attack, it had emerged the driver was wrestled to the ground by three men who along with the Imam at the centre stopped him being attacked.

Imam Mohammed Mahmoud was caught on mobile footage shouting at the crowd: “No one touch him – no one! No one!” as the driver tauntingly told the crowd; “I’ve done my bit.”

Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Sophie Lindon, hailed the Imam heroic for restraining the crowd until the police arrived, describing him as “a true inspiration for us all”.

However, Mahmoud said was not alone in urging restraint. “There were a group of brothers. They were calm and collected and managed to calm people down and to extinguish any flames of anger or mob rule.”

Mahmoud described how angry survivors “tried to hit him, either kicks or punches. By God’s grace, we managed to surround him [the attacker] and to protect him. We stopped all forms of attack and abuse towards him that were coming from every angle. A police van drove past so we flagged them down and we told them the situation.”


Demands for better tackling of rising Islamophobia

Prime Minister, Theresa May, who chaired an emergency Cobra meeting on hours after the terror attack said, “This morning, our country woke to news of another terrorist attack on the streets of our capital city: the second this month and every bit as sickening as those which have come before.”

She adds, “It was an attack that once again targeted the ordinary and the innocent going about their daily lives – this time British Muslims as they left a mosque having broken their fast and prayed together at this sacred time of year. Today we come together – as we have done before – to condemn this act and to state once again that hatred and evil of this kind will never succeed.”

London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, said: “All of these are attacks on our shared values of freedom, of tolerance and of respect… and terrorism is terrorism, whether someone’s inspired by an Islamist narrative or other forms of ‘inspiration’.”

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn said he had been in touch with local mosques, police and the council following the incident, which took place in his constituency and near his home.
“My thoughts are with those and the community affected by this awful event,” Corbyn added.

Chair of nearby Finsbury Park Mosque and Vice President of the Muslim Association of Britain, Mohammed Kozbar, described the terror attack as “cowardly” and “no different than the attacks in Manchester and London.”

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said the terror attack was a “violent manifestation” of rising Islamophobia in the country. MCB, Secretary General, Harun Khan, said: “Over the past weeks and months, Muslims have endured many incidents of Islamophobia, and this is the most violent manifestation to date. Muslim communities have been calling for increased action to tackle the growth in hate crimes for many years and transformative action must now be taken to tackle not only this incident but the hugely worrying growth in Islamophobia.”

Director of the Brussels-based European Network Against Racism, Michaël Privot, also branded the terror attack as an “extremely violent manifestation of Islamophobia.”

“In Europe, as we have been witnessing an increase in racist incidents and speech targeting Muslims across Europe. Action to address Islamophobia is now urgent, especially in a context of growing securitisation of Muslims,” said Privot.

He also urged governments to ensure that Muslim communities were not profiled as potential terrorists. “They need to ensure hate crimes are sanctioned; support victims, and guarantee the safety of all citizens and residents,” Privot said, warning that “failing to act will mean more causalities and more divisions.”

In his memorial speech, Acting Bishop of London, Bishop Pete Broadbent, was critical of some sections of the media and politicians: “We need to resist and counter some of what politicians and media say – that our problems arise from a result of immigration and religion, etc. There needs to be a counter-narrative where we rejoice in the richness and diversity of our society. The problem is not in the ‘other’ (migrants, faith) but prejudicial bile that comes out of some media outlets.”

The alleged driver of the van, Darren Osborne, has been charged with terrorism-related murder and attempted murder and will appear again on July 20.

One Response to “Finsbury Park terror attack victim was alive when he was struck by van ploughing worshippers”

Iftikhar AhmadJuly 31, 2017

What do you expect from a so called civilised Brit? The worshipers could have easily killed the attacker but they did not behave like British police by shooting three attackers at London Bridge. The police could have easily arrested them to be tried by the court of law. Now the truth is buried with them.


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