An attack in London Central Mosque, one of the United Kingdom’s most prominent mosques based near Regent’s Park in the capital, has prompted further concerns around the safety of mosques.
Daniel Horton, a 29 year old homeless man, has appeared in court on Saturday charged with previous bodily harm and possession of a bladed article, after he stabbed the muezzin,the person who makes the call to prayer, 70 year old Raafat Maglad. Magellan suffered a 1.5cm wound to his neck but discharged himself the next day to return to the mosque the next day for Friday prayers.
While a number of people have complained why this has not been treated as a terrorist incident, suggesting that the fact that Horton is a while male has meant he has unfairly avoided this label, it was later revealed that the victim and the defendant were known to each because Horton had been attending the mosque for several years, which may suggest additional detail to the attack.
However, the fact that this incident has been the latest in a number of attacks on Mosques in the United Kingdom, the safety and security of mosques in general has been the most prominent feature of the response.
Miqdaad Versi, from the Muslim Council of Britain, says "it's important that mosques across the country think very carefully about their security" following a stabbing at the London Central Mosque, near Regent's Parkhttps://t.co/LtqSczFNjs pic.twitter.com/GGG43f8vw3
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) February 20, 2020
Praying for all involved.
We really need to talk about mosque security and safety of all worshipers. https://t.co/6atht9CwyD
— Faduma ✨ (@Faduma_LDN) February 20, 2020
Thursday's attack at a London Mosque has raised concerns about the vulnerability of all places of worship. Govt funding for their security, pledged in 2019, is yet to be distributed. Mohammad Mahmoud is an Imam, he told @MishalHusain many feel worried for their safety#r4today pic.twitter.com/TBNqJimbuF
— BBC Radio 4 Today (@BBCr4today) February 21, 2020
While a government scheme designed to protect places of worship was set up after concerns were raised last year, this latest attack has prompted Muslim leaders to highlight the ineffectiveness and lack of accessibility to this pot, as well as it being too bureaucratic and with a lack of engagement with the relevant communities. This has meant that applications by 24 mosques failed. Also highlighted has been the fact that the £375,413 awarded to the mosques under the scheme to protect places of worship relative to the the £14m provided to the Jewish community for similar reasons under a separate government fund.
The Muslim Council of Britain has released this information sheet to illustrate the type of measures in deems important to provide such safety to places of worship.