Representatives of Tower Hamlets Liberal Democrats have expressed their sincere condolences with worshippers affected by the attack at the Muslim Welfare House in Finsbury Park and condemned the normalisation of Islamophobic and xenophobic rhetoric in public discourse in recent years.
The attack happened in the early hours of the morning following the weekend’s Great Get Together celebration: an event which brought communities together with their neighbours to celebrate what they have in common in memory of former Labour MP Jo Cox, who lived in the Borough. Tower Hamlets Lib Dem representatives joined the gathering in Wapping on Sunday, near to where Cox lived.
Hate crimes in London have increased in recent months following the EU referendum and the terrorist attacks in Manchester and at London Bridge with recent police numbers released by the Mayor of London showing up to 54 incidents per day with up to 20 having an anti-Muslim motive.
Elaine Bagshaw, who ran for the Liberal Democrats in Poplar & Limehouse in the 2017 snap General Election said:
“We are all affected by this tragedy. This was an evil, ideologically motivated attack on ordinary Londoners and we are all mourning those whose lives were lost. While the details are still unclear as to whether the attacks were planned, we believe the acceptance of populist, racist and islamophobic viewpoints can only serve to increase the likelihood of attacks like this. Ideologies that turn neighbours against each other must be robustly challenged by all of us.”
Ed Long, Chair of Tower Hamlets Liberal Democrats said:
“Only just over a year ago an attack motivated by far-Right xenophobia led to the death of one of our country’s most dedicated and talented public servants. It has been inspiring to see how her example has brought communities together, but it has been equally worrying to see an emboldened and often unchallenged strand of nationalist extremism taking root in our media and politics. We stand for a society that is open, tolerant and united and against extremism of any kind.”