A car rammed into worshipers outside a crowded mosque in London. More than 1,000 people, including women and children, were exiting the Al-Hussaini Islamic Centre when the car jumped the curb twice then continued to careen down the street in the borough of Brent.
The driver and his passengers, who appeared to have been drinking and taking drugs, were reported to have hurled anti-Muslim insults at the crowd just before the incident which occurred shortly after midnight, September 19.
A number of people were hurt, two seriously. Eye witnesses say the ramming was deliberate.
“The car came racing down the road and hitting people like dominoes, the driver was aiming at people for sure. I managed to jump in between two cars and the parked cars acted as a barrier which saved many lives,” said Ali Salman. “I was a few milliseconds from being mowed down,” he added.
Metropolitan Police Chief Superintendent Simon Rose, who was at the scene said, “At around half past midnight volunteer stewards challenged a small group of individuals. They were subjected to a tirade of Islamophobic and racist abuse and an altercation then took place. The people who had been challenged then drove at members of the community in a car.”
Rose said the incident is being dealt with as a hate crime and not as a terrorist attack for now.
A quick-thinking former policeman at the site saved an eight-year old boy. “I heard breaking glass, tires screeching. People were running everywhere,” said Ali Mashkour. “I just grabbed him and threw him across the pavement. His father was crying, he thanked me for saving his son’s life.”