Imam Monawar Hussain, Founder of The Oxford Foundation has issued the following statement following the terrorist attack in South London, on 2nd February 2020. Imam Hussain stated:
“I am deeply saddened to hear of the terrorist attack in South London, at a time when families and individuals, were going about their daily lives. My thoughts and prayers are with the injured, their friends and families. I extend my gratitude and thanks to the police and all our emergency services, for the speed and bravery, with which they responded to this violent attack.
“This is the second attack in the last three months, to have been perpetrated by an individual convicted of terrorism offences and recently released from prison. Most fellow citizens will be rightly concerned and will want to know how this could happen?
“In the past, I have raised my concerns regarding the radicalisation of vulnerable individuals in prison, this I suggest needs to be revisited, to establish the efficacy of any de-radicalisation programmes in prison and the measures in place to protect vulnerable individuals from being indoctrinated by a small group of hardcore extremists.
“We must also bear in mind that extremist forces, inspired by extremist ideologies, seek to sow hatred and division, within our communities and country. For example, in 2013, Pavlo Lapshyn, the Ukrainian postgraduate student, murdered an 82 year old Muslim Pensioner, Mohammed Saleem, in Birmingham and also attempted to bomb three mosques. His motive was to create communal conflict in our country. Those individuals or groups espousing Islamist ideology are no different, they have nothing to offer but hate, division and violence.
“Let us continue to build strong relationships between each other, relationships grounded in our common humanity, love and compassion for each other, respect for difference, rule of law, democracy and fairness for all. These are time tested values we must firmly hold on to and that will see us through these difficult and tumultuous times.”