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Finsbury Attack: It’s Time To Challenge Extremism Robustly

The horrific attack on Muslims last night outside an Islamic community centre and nearby mosque is a reprehensible crime fuelled by ignorance and hate.

WARN condemns the attack and the ideology that was apparently behind it. Islamophobia is on the rise in our country as some misguided people attempt to lay blame for the Daesh-inspired actions of a handful of Islamist extremists.

We need to unite now perhaps more than ever before to stamp out hate and educate people about the hateful ideology perpetuated by both Daesh and other groups such as al-Qaeda, and also the extreme far right in Britain.

There is a concerning similarity between the methods of radicalisastion used by Islamist extremists and far right extremists in the UK – both seeking to breed hatred and suspicion between sections of our society and create an ‘us versus them’ mentality. Sadly, they feed off each other, with the extreme far right giving the required oxygen for Islamist extremism and vice-versa.

They are strikingly similar in their ideology of hatred and both are filled with evil. We must not let them inject fear into our communities and turn us against one another. This attack will be exploited by extremists from both sides who aim to perpetuate hatred and division.

When communities of differing faiths and ethnicities come together so beautifully in the aftermath of terror attacks, as we saw following the recent Manchester attack and the two attacks in London, it sends a powerful message that they will not succeed.

We must continue on this journey of resilience and compassion as we strengthen our communities and reach out to ‘the other’ to build relations and increase communication. This leads to cohesion, cooperation and acceptance. It also educates us all against hatred which has been built on ignorance.

We know what reaction terrorists and extremists want – and we must refuse to give them the satisfaction. We must refuse to bow down and accept more retaliation or revenge attacks. We must refuse to let our communities be torn apart by hate.

Our response must be robust and show that hate can only beget hate - which will only lead to more lives being lost and more divisions between us.

The tragic incidents of the past few months have shown we can unite in our common humanity. Let's take on all forms of extremism robustly. We need to call it out for what it is.