Britain’s values will not be broken by “vile extremism”, Theresa May has said ahead of a memorial one year on from the Finsbury Park terror attack.
A minute’s silence will be held to commemorate the death of father-of-six Makram Ali, and for the dozen others who were injured on June 19 last year.
Relatives of Mr Ali have been invited to gather alongside others affected by Darren Osborne’s murderous rampage, when he drove a hired van on to a crowded pavement, intending to kill as many Muslims as possible.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan are expected to attend the event at Islington Town Hall on Tuesday, where a silence will be held at 9.30am.
Islington councillors, local faith and community leaders, and emergency services workers who helped victims in the aftermath of the attack are set to attend Tuesday’s commemorative event.
Ahead of the event, the Prime Minister said: “Last year’s cowardly attack which targeted innocent worshippers leaving Finsbury Park mosque is an attack on all of us.
“As with all acts of terrorism the intention was to divide us but we will not let this happen.
“We are a country of many faiths and freedom of worship and respect for those of different faiths is fundamental to this country’s values and these values will never be broken by vile extremism.”
Mrs May commended the “bravery and spirit of the community that apprehended the attacker”.
She added: “As we remember the victims of this attack, Makram Ali who tragically lost his life, we should take strength that it is London’s diversity and multitude of communities that makes it one of the world’s great cities.”
“One man, Makram Ali, was killed and eight people were injured in this terrible attack that brought terror to our streets.
“But the response of our community – people of all faiths and none – was to come together in solidarity and strength.
“We showed that we would not be divided or defeated and we never will be.
“The response of the community in Finsbury Park is a model for us all: through supporting each other in solidarity, treating each other with respect and learning from each other, we can create a better, more peaceful and prosperous world.”
Ms Akhtar addressed those gathered at a street Iftar on what was the one-year anniversary of the incident according to the lunar calendar observed in the Islamic faith.
She said: “We’re very happy to be part of this community and to be in this country with such a loving, diverse community around us.
“And we would just like to thank everyone for their support and the love that they’ve shown and hope they continue to do so.”
Mr Khan described it as an “evil attack designed to divide us”.
He added: “Instead, the response from the local community, and Londoners more widely, was and remains an inspiration to us all. It proved once again that, when Londoners face adversity, we stand up for our values, we stay strong, and we remain united.”
The phrase #LondonUnited, which has been used in the wake of other terror attacks last year, was due to be displayed on the Muslim Welfare House on Monday evening and into the early hours of Tuesday, around the time Osborne committed his crime.
The jobless loner, who had been radicalised by far-right material, is serving a jail sentence of at least 43 years, after being found guilty in February of murder and attempted murder.