United against terror

Haringey responds to Christchurch, New Zealand terror attack

By Luchia Robinson

Haringey solidarity vigil Credit: Stephen Furner

Local faith leaders, councillors, community members and police representatives, gathered at a vigil held at Wightman Road Mosque, in solidarity with those affected by the terror attack upon two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, which killed 50 people, last month.

Speaking to TCP, Imam Khidir Hussain from Masjid Ayesha, Clyde Road, N15, said: “As you can imagine, the attack has affected not only people in Tottenham,but the wider Muslim community.

“Generally, we have been okay here. We have addressed the issue and called on our community to remain calm and retaliate with love and compassion.

“We’ve had local neighbours, who are not of the same faith, drop in to give us flowers and ask how we are. The local Muslim community appreciates the condolences given to us and we want to thank the community for showcasing their support. There are still loving and caring people out there.

Addressing the community      Credit: S.Furner

“We don’t want these incidents to divide the community but rather be reasons for us to come together.”

In response to the targeted attack, Da’ud Sheikh-Ali, general manager of Assunah Islamic Centre, Tottenham High Road, said: “We are all mourning. It is something that has shocked everybody. Everyone is concerned and people are worried- these things can happen anytime, anywhere.

“We’re being sandwiched between two extreme groups and there’s worry that someone may retaliate or copy what has happened in New Zealand- even though it is a minority, the threat is still there.”

He added: “Some of the media is not helping at all; sensationalising what has happened, plays into the hands of these extremists.”

Community unites outside Wightman Road Mosque Credit: Stephen Furner

Speaking at a full council meeting last month, Haringey leader, Cllr Joseph Ejiofor offered condolences, support and friendship to the terror victims and their families on behalf of the residents of Haringey. “The murder of 50 people whilst they were peacefully at prayer is a shameful, terrorist act,” said Cllr Ejiofor.

“The fact that this terrorist act has had the effect of bringing people together, around the world, is the one positive thing that comes from it. We hope that these new bonds and friendships will prove enduring, and defeat the haters.”

Cllr Ejiofor highlighted Haringey’s multicultural and multiethnic make up, saying: “The goal of the Christchurch terrorist was to get several communities, like our own, to divide and fight amongst ourselves. It aimed to set Muslim against Christian, against Jew. It aimed to set black against white- here, he has failed. But I am saddened that this hateful act has emboldened some white racists on the streets of Britain, and encouraged a Muslim to take revenge on the streets of Utrecht.

“We cannot– no, we must not allow hate to beget hate.”

“We are a committed, cohesive, connected community, clear in our expression to the world that an attack on any one of us, is an attack on every one of us.”