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Expert Comment: Dr Abdullah Sahin on the London Islamic Centre attack

“Last night’s hit and run attack on innocent worshipers attending Al-Majlis Al-Hussaini Islamic Centre in Cricklewood, North London would appear to be a shocking hate filled Islamophobic incident. Muslims all over the world are preparing to mark Ashura, the 10th day of Muharram in the first month of the Islamic lunar calendar.

During Ashura Muslims express gratitude to God for delivering Moses and his people from Egyptian persecution. For Shia Muslims it is a solemn day of mourning the martyrdom of Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, in 680 AD at Karbala in modern-day Iraq. The fact that the attack was on a Shia Muslim place of worship is tragic. Jewish communities are also observing Yom Kippur, the day of communal and personal atonement. During this spiritually significant time for many, we should remind ourselves that we can only effectively tackle the culture of hatred and violence threating the peaceful coexistence in our society, if we work together nurturing values of mutual trust, respect and dignity for all. Our prayers are with the injured and all those affected by this tragic attack.”