Theresa May condemns 'sickening attack' on London mosque
Theresa May delivers her statement on the Finsbury Park mosque attack in London on June 19. Photograph: (Reuters)
British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday condemned the suspected terror attack on Muslim worshippers near a London mosque as sickening and said hatred and evil would never succeed.
The British PM said her government would establish a statutory commission for countering extremism.
A van ploughed into worshippers near a London mosque in a deliberate attack on Muslims as they left prayers at mosques in north London on Monday (June 19).
"This morning, our country woke to news of another terrorist attack on the streets of our capital city: the second this month and every bit as sickening as those which have come before," Theresa May said outside her Downing Street office.
"It was an attack that once again targeted the ordinary and the innocent going about their daily lives, this time British Muslims as they left a mosque having broken their fast and prayed together at this sacred time of year. Today we come together as we have done before, to condemn this act and to state once again that hatred and evil of this kind will never succeed."
The British prime minister said Britain had been far too tolerant of extremism for many years and her government would now "stamp out extremist and hateful ideology both across society and on the internet" so that it was "denied a safe space to grow".
"It is a reminder that terrorism, extremism and hatred take many forms and our determination to tackle them must be the same, whoever is responsible. As I said here two weeks ago, there has been far too much tolerance of extremism in our country over many years and that means extremism of any kind including Islamophobia. That is why this government will act to stamp out extremist and hateful ideology, both across society and on the internet, so it is denied a safe space to grow.
It is why we will be reviewing our counter-terrorism strategy and ensuring that police and security services have the powers they need and it is why we will establish a new commission for countering extremism, as a statutory body to help fight hatred and extremism in the same way as we have fought racism, because this extremism is every bit as insidious and destructive to our values and our way of life and we will stop at nothing to defeat it."
She said extra police resources would be deployed to provide reassurance and said Britain had been far too tolerant of all forms of extremism in the past.
The British PM lauded the heroism of the citizens who fought off the attackers at London Bridge and the "spirit of the community" who apprehended the attacker on Monday.
"What we have seen throughout whether in the heroism of the ordinary citizens who fought off the attackers at London Bridge, the unbreakable resolve of the residents in Kensington or this morning, the spirit of the community that apprehended this attacker, is that this is an extraordinary city of extraordinary people. It is home to a multitude of communities that together make London one of the greatest cities on earth; diverse, welcoming, vibrant, compassionate, confident and determined never to give in to hate. These are the values that define this city. These are the values that define this country. These are the values that this government will uphold. These are the values that will prevail," Theresa May said.