Imam at Finsbury Park Mosque Calls for Help in Identifying Bombers

July 9, 2005

Source: The New York Times

On July 9, 2005 The New York Times reported, "The new imam at the Finsbury Park mosque, once a hotbed of radical Islam, had a message for those who gathered for prayer on Friday, a day after four bombs killed at least 49 people: help identify the bombers, he told them. Show your anger at what happened here. His call to cooperate was a stark and deliberate contrast to a former imam, Abu Hamza al-Masri, now detained and facing extradition to the United States to face terrorism-related charges. Under his leadership, the Finsbury Park mosque became a recruiting center for jihadists for holy wars from Bosnia to Afghanistan. It is that image the residents of this North London immigrant neighborhood are working hard to shed, eager to demonstrate to an increasingly anxious country that they are not to blame for the attacks on Thursday and that Finsbury Park has rid itself of extremists. Already, residents here were bracing themselves, fearing they would become targets... Already, there have been some retaliatory acts against Muslims in Britain."