'We stand together' say West Yorkshire police chief and Leeds Imam in wake of terror attack

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Communities in Leeds must stand together in the wake of the latest terrorist attack in London.

That's the message from West Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Dee Collins and Imam Qari Asim, Head Imam of the Makkah Mosque in Leeds.

It follows an attack near a mosque in Finsbury Park at around 12.20am on Monday when a man in a white van drove into pedestrians, killing one person and injuring another 10 people.

The chief constable said: “The Finsbury terrorist attack was dreadful, particularly as it targeted people leaving prayers in the holy month of Ramadan.

“Naturally, this has raised concerns among our own Muslim communities and we have been providing highly visible reassurance and support, across the county, which will continue as long as is necessary.

“Qari and I are making this statement as we are united in our view that acts of terror will not divide us. West Yorkshire is a county with long established, richly diverse communities and now, more than ever, we need to stand together.

“People of all faiths, or no faith, must be free to live their lives without fear of hatred or intolerance. If you have been subject of a hate crime, you must not suffer in silence. Report it to us, either on 101 for non-emergencies, 999 in case of emergencies or through local hate crime reporting centres.”

Imam Qari Asim said “The Chief Constable and I feel it was very important to stand together on this issue. It is essential to send a clear message that there can be no tolerance of religious hatred in our communities.

“While many members of the Muslim community are understandably very concerned about their own safety, we know we must not give in to extremists. Hate incidents must be reported and people who commit hate crimes have to be dealt with robustly.

The increased police patrols we have seen locally have been reassuring, but it is up to us all as individuals and communities to be united in our rejection of extremist views. Everyone must remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the police.”

READ MORE: Leeds imam calls for 'increased security' and vigilance around mosques after Finsbury Park terror attack