An attempt to mass-murder Muslims in London this past weekend by a man who drove a van into worshipers outside a mosque is being denounced worldwide, with Westminster’s Cardinal Vincent Nichols saying violence brews violence and is not the answer to terrorism.
According to The Guardian, the attack occurred at 12:20 a.m. on June 19 when 47-year-old Darren Osborne, a Welsh father of four, drove his van into worshippers as they were leaving the Finsbury Park Mosque after Ramadan prayers. Osborne killed one person and injured 11 others.
Witnesses say the attack occurred after a small crowd gathered around a man who had collapsed outside the Muslim Welfare House which is located near the mosque.
One man, who remains anonymous, said he and his friends had stopped to help the “elderly man” who was lying on the ground.
“In seconds this terrible thing happened,” he said. “Within a minute a van with speed turned to where we were and ran over the man who was laying on the floor and the people around him. Around eight or 10 people got injured, some of them seriously.”
Abdikadar Warfa was one of the men who caught hold of Osborne as he tried to escape the scene. “He tried to run away, he tried to escape. Some people were hitting him. He was fighting to run away.”
Mohammed Mahmoud, an imam at the Muslim Welfare House, arrived moments later and has been praised for preventing an outright attack on Osborne.
“By God’s grace we managed to surround him and protect him from any harm,” Mahmoud said at a press conference on Monday afternoon. “We stopped all forms of attack and abuse towards him that were coming from every angle.”
Osborne has since been described by neighbors as “aggressive” and “strange.” They reported that he had recently been thrown out of a local pub for getting drunk and “cursing Muslims and saying he would do some damage.”
In fact, as onlookers wrestled Osborne to the ground after the attack, he allegedly shouted, “I want to kill all Muslims.”
As Andrew McCarthy writes on National Review, Osborne “saw himself as a one-man retaliation squad for attacks on British crowds by radical Muslims using the same car-ramming tactic.”
But this is not how the public should respond to the violence of terrorism.
“Together with people all over this country I am appalled at the deliberate attack on people leaving their late night prayers, as the end of their day of fasting, at the mosque in Finsbury Park,” stated Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster and President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales, according to CNA/EWTN News.
“Violence breeds violence. Hatred breeds hatred. Every one of us must repudiate hatred and violence from our words and actions. We must all be builders of understanding, compassion and peace, day by day, in our homes, our work and our communities. That is the only way.”
In a letter of condolence to Mohammad Kozbar, trustee of the Finsbury Park Mosque, the Cardinal wrote: “I am horrified that people should, again, be targeted in this way. I write to assure you of my prayers for the person who has died, for those who have been injured and for all deeply affected by this brutal attack. I know that I speak for all Catholics when I assure you of prayers and support.”
As the Lord tells us in Deuteronomy 32:35, “Vengeance is mine . . .”
Instead of responding with violence, let us keep all of the good people of England in our prayers during these difficult and trying times and leave the rest to God.
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