British jury delivers swift justice on Muslim-hating killer

British jury delivers swift justice on Muslim-hating killer

When the wheels of justice turn it is usually agonisingly slow but it took the Woolwich Crown Court jury less than an hour to return a guilty verdict on the Muslim-hating man who ploughed his van into a crowd of worshippers near a London mosque.

Darren Osborne, 48, was found guilty of the murder of grandfather Makram Ali, 51, and the attempted murder of nine others who were injured in the terror attack near Finsbury Park in June last year.

It was also heartening to hear from Crown Prosecution Service lawyers that although no terror charges were brought against the Cardiff man, they were in no doubt and clear throughout the nine-day trial that this was “a terrorist attack.” Sue Hemming, from the CPS, said: “Darren Osborne planned and carried out this attack because of his hatred of Muslims. He must now face the consequences of his actions.”

The rapid radicalisation of the Welshman turned him into a “ticking time bomb” when he started ranting about “all Muslims raping children and being capable of blowing people up”. His former partner said he had become “brainwashed” and it seemed the process began on TV and online.

Opening the case, Sue Hemming told the court how the area outside the Muslim Welfare House had been busy with worshippers attending Ramadan prayers on June 19. The murder victim was already in a state of collapse by the road when Osborne seized the opportunity to plough his van into Makram Ali who was being given comfort and first aid by a crowd of Muslim worshippers who had gathered around him.

He was alive and conscious before being struck by the van. Detectives found a letter in the van written by Osborne, referring to Muslim people as “rapists” and “feral”. He also wrote that Muslim men were “preying on our children”.

The trial heard Osborne became “obsessed” with Muslims in the weeks leading up to the attack, having watched the BBC drama Three Girls, about the Rochdale grooming scandal. it is thought he then became radicalised as he went online searching for more information about Muslims living in Britain.

Osborne immersed himself in rightwing propaganda online. A statement from his partner Sarah Andrews, read out at the trial, said he seemed “brainwashed” and “totally obsessed”. She said she’d been in a relationship with him for about 20 years and had four children by him. She described him as a loner and a “functioning alcoholic” who had become unpredictable.

However, what was more alarming, is that of those he began following on the social networks was one of the co-founders of the far right wing English Defence League as well as other right wing extremists on social media networks. Robinson sent him a group email saying: “There is a nation within a nation forming beneath the surface of the UK. It is a nation built on hatred, on violence and on Islam.”

Perhaps it would be prudent if counter terrorism police – assuming they haven’t already – monitor and forensically examine all of Robinson’s communications and those belonging to other bigots, racists and Muslim haters to try and discover who radicalised Osborne.
Harun Khan, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain said: “The scenes we witnessed last summer were the most violent manifestation of Islamophobia yet in our country. We cannot be complacent and regard this as a one-off terrorist incident.

“We heard during the trial how Osborne was motivated by anti-Muslim groups and Islamophobic tropes not only prevalent in far right circles, but also made acceptable in our mainstream. The case tells us that we must all exercise caution when tempted to stigmatise any group of people, regardless of colour, creed or community.”

As he is sentenced on Friday, Osborne will surely go to prison for a very long time where he will be able to reflect on his evil deeds and their consequences.

But if this vile episode is remembered for one thing it is the dignified response by Muslims once Osborne was apprehended. In particular Imam Mohammed Mahmoud stepped in to protect the killer when he spotted him being restrained with his face down to the pavement.

He personally intervened “to make sure that he answers for his crime,” he told one news crew after the case. “Nobody directed any of their anger or frustration at me – maybe some disapproval, but that’s just in the fit of rage and anger. A person’s judgement is impaired and they’re blinded by anger.”

The imam’s reaction to protect Osborne helped calm the gathering crowds. He should receive a medal for his quick-thinking as it’s very easy for some to whip up a crowd into a frenzy and create a lynch mob mentality. The Muslim community in Finsbury Park did the right thing that night and on Thursday they saw justice being delivered by another group of men and women who sat for nine days during the trial listening to cold, hard facts.

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  1. Of all the problems that lie in the British education system: poverty, socio- economic inequality, a system that feeds the preferences of certain classes, overworked and underpaid teachers, tick box exercises that schools implement just to impress Ofsted, the disparity that widens between resources available in the North and South, Amanda Spielman is worried about the Hijab! I’m speechless! I’m extremely disappointed that she’s used the term sexualisation in the wrong context. However, I’m not surprised at that; a few years ago a head of a school had to send Ofsted an email about the number of spelling and punctuation errors on an Ofsted report that had been published. That’s what Spielman should be worried about; Ofsted’s credibility. Not hijabs! What sort of message are we giving to young people? We teach and embrace unity in the classroom, break down barriers that the media has corrupted young minds with, and now we have Ofsted making things worse. On a positive note, this will bring young Muslim women together and together we will see lawyers, doctors, entrepreneurs, Headteachers, engineers all of whom wear a headscarf!

    I have a friend who has been teaching in a state school with majority of Muslim children and we discussed this issue. One thing that stood out for me was an observation that she made. She said that she realised girls wearing the hijab were doing better academically than girls that weren’t, and they were also better disciplined. Statistically girls were doing much better than the boys at the school, but it was the girls that wore the hijab that were getting the highest marks. It’s something interesting that we all have to try and understand.

    Islam is a religion of modesty, in the way we talk, dress, interact, hold ourselves etc. We wear the headscarf only as part of retaining that modesty. It is a sign of our faith; that we submit to God, and to call this ‘sexualising of young girls’ is outrageous and disrespectful of our belief. To wear short skirts and crap tops is not seen as sexualising young girls but to cover yourself is? It seems like something bigger is at play.

    I believe young girls in primary schools even young as 4 years old, have a tendency to copy their mums, elder sisters or just see other friends wearing the hijab. Girls at this age normally like to copy people they like, the way they would if someone wear a jewellery or shoes, its like a trend. I believe it is a normal behaviour of a young child who like to wear hijab. They can take it off anytime, there is no restrictions and due to this freedom is why children keep putting hijab back on.

    Ofsted I understand is an organisation that inspects schools regarding teaching and learning and they also look at safeguarding too. With media giving wrong interpretation of Islam, I feel Ofsted is being sucked in the propaganda. I am aware they have to protect children welfare, however they are not putting this in context. Most parents including myself want their daughters to wear hijab but at certain age, as parents we struggle when it is the right time, without making child feel we are hindering their personality. Ofsted needs to realise the difference when a child not taking part in school activities…it does not mean it because she is wearing a hijab! It could be numerous of reasons I.e. not liking the activity, timings, circumstances at home changes so a cannot accommodate etc.

    Young girls wear the headscarf a symbol of submission to God. A symbol of piety and modesty. Islam does not require a girl to wear the hijab until she attains the age of puberty however some girls choose to wear it before because they would like to practice wearing it. They may also choose to wear it because their older sisters/mother/aunties wear it and because they look up to them. Just as many young girls have an interest in makeup or dressing in a particular way because of their family members and role models that they look up to.

    Islam teaches the importance of modesty and how Muslim women should wear the headscarf (hijab) when they reach the age of puberty. It is well within the rights of Muslim parents to teach their girls at a younger age about this concept in Islam. Furthermore some younger Muslim girls do admire and long to wear the hijab earlier as means of expressing their modesty and wanting to please God. As a result, their parents may accordingly encourage their interest in wearing the headscarf earlier.

    I think the singling out of young Muslim girls by Ofsted and quizzing them is really invasive and inappropriate. Young Muslims are already aware of being portrayed as ‘the other’ in the media and this will further deepen the divide and make them feel targeted. A school should have no right to separate a group of children and question them for wearing a religious garment. I think the claim that hijab could be interpreted as sexualisation of young girls is disgusting and perverted.

    Why should Ofsted of all boards interview these young girls? Would it not be better that teachers have a chat with parents if they have reason to believe a young girl is observing the hijab against her will? Schools should absolutely not ban young children from wearing a headscarf. It is an expression of their religious beliefs.

    Ofsted accused of Islamophobia over hijab questioning in primary schools. The schools watchdog Ofsted has been voted UK Islamophobe of the Year. Ofsted won the dubious accolade at a ceremony organised by the Islamic Human Rights Commission in London on Sunday evening.

    Many in the Muslim community feel that Ofsted has targeted Muslim children over the past few years. Several high-performing schools in Birmingham were put in Special Measures by Ofsted and Muslim educationalists were forced out of their jobs following the “Trojan Horse” affair, which was later largely discredited.

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