Thousands attend vigil in Cricklewood after ‘hate crime’ attack outside Islamic centre

People showed solidarity at a vigil held at the Al-Majlis and Al-Hussaini Centre in Cricklewood (Pic

People showed solidarity at a vigil held at the Al-Majlis and Al-Hussaini Centre in Cricklewood (Picture: Martin Francis) - Credit: Archant

More than a thousand people attended a vigil to show solidarity for victims of an attack outside a Cricklewood mosque.

Various delegations and local people received a warm welcome from members of the Al-Majlis and Al-Hussaini Centre in Oxgate Lane last night.

Visitors were given warm drinks and food at the vigil which started at 10pm and continued until 2am.

Mapesbury’s Cllr Tariq Dar, who is chairman of the Pakistani Community Centre, took Brent Council leader Cllr Muhammed Butt, Imams and also youth leaders to the vigil.

He said: “We went to pay our respects and show them our support and solidarity at this time of need.

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“Earlier in the day a Jewish delegation was there. We feel we are one community and we must stand united against hate.

“We have full confidence in the Metropolitan Police who are working on this. These people must be caught quickly.”

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Three people were injured with two taken to hospital following a hit and run outside the centre on Wednesday morning at about 12.20am.

Four people who were in the vehicle are alleged to have made anti-Muslim taunts before mounting the pavement and driving off.

The collision is not being treated as terror related but hate crime is being looked at by detectives as an “aggravating factor” police said.

Cllr Butt, who had also visited the centre yesterday afternoon, said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have been injured and all those affected by the serious act of violence which took place outside the Al-majlis Al-Hussaini Center.

“We are in close contact with the police who are looking into this as a possible hate crime.

“However, we are reassured that the police do not believe there is an ongoing threat to Brent’s Muslim community.

“There is absolutely no place for hate in our borough. Violence like this will not be tolerated.”

He added: “Brent has one of the most diverse communities in the UK and we are extremely proud of this.

“We will not allow cowardly acts like this to spread fear and hate amongst our residents.”

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