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Attack on London Mosque: Card. Nichols (president of English Bishops), “we must all be builders of understanding, compassion and peace”

“Violence breeds violence. Hatred breeds hatred. Every one of us must repudiate hatred and violence from our words and actions”. A call to responsibility and peaceful coexistence among communities of different faiths and cultures at a critical time in the history of the UK: the Archbishop of Westminster, Card. Vincent Nichols, issued this call today, a few hours after the attack carried out last night outside of a mosque in Finsbury Park, the Muslim Welfare Centre, by a man who drove a van into the faithful who had gathered in prayer for the Eid celebration in the holy month of Ramadan. “Together with people all over this country, I am appalled at the deliberate attack on people leaving their late night prayers, at the end of their day of fasting, at the mosque in Finsbury Park”, wrote Archbishop Nichols, who is also the president of the English Bishops. Card. Nichols called the leadership of the Mosque and Muslim Centre this morning, assuring them of his prayers and of the support of the Catholic community in the country. The Archbishop made an appeal in his statement: “We must all be builders of understanding, compassion and peace, day by day, in our homes, our work and our communities. That is the only way”. Cardinal Nichols – his spokesperson told SIR news agency – sent a message to the Secretary General of the Mosque in Finsbury Park, Mohammed Kozbar, expressing his “deep shock”. “I am appalled – he wrote him – that people can again be the target of such attacks. I assure you of my prayers for the person who died, for those who were injured, and for all those who have been affected by this brutal attack today. I know I speak on behalf of all Catholics when I assure you of my prayers and support”. Card. Nichols is aware of the work that the Mosque and the local parish led by Fr. John O’Leary do to improve and strengthen the bonds among all people who live at Finsbury Park, and hopes that such work may continue “in this difficult time”. The Archbishop also sent a message to the director of the Muslim Welfare House, Ahmed Kheloufi, expressing to him his “shock and deep distress” and assuring him of his “prayers and deep sympathies” for the community.

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