Representatives from Orthodox and Reform Jewish communities were among religious leaders showing solidarity with the Muslim community after the terror attack at Finsbury Park.
A man drove a van into a crowd of worshippers leaving the Finsbury Park mosque in north London on Sunday night, injuring 11 people. One man died following the incident.
Rabbi Herschel Gluck, president of the Shomrim volunteer security group, attended a vigil outside Finsbury Park mosque on Monday, telling the crowd that “an attack on the Muslim community is an attack on every single citizen in Great Britain.
“This country is made by the contribution of every single one of its citizens, be they Muslim, be they Christian, be they Jewish, be they from any community.
“I think we have to do a lot of soul searching. Do we promote enough harmony?”
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said in a statement: “It is heartbreaking to hear of yet another deadly attack on the streets of London, this time targeting Muslims who had been at prayer.
“This is a painful illustration of why we must never allow hatred to breed hatred. It creates a downward spiral of violence and terror with only further death and greater destruction.”
Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, Senior Rabbi for the Movement for Reform Judaism, attended a faith leaders’ meeting with Theresa May and Cressida Dick, Metropolitan Police Commissioner.
Rabbi Janner-Klausner told the JC she had “fervently thanked” Mrs May for confronting antisemitism.
She referred to the actions of the British Muslim Forum, an organisation representing 500 mosques across the UK. It declared that the terrorists who carried out the London Bridge attack earlier this month were not considered Muslim and would not be given a religious burial.
Rabbi Janner-Klausner said: “Here we have a serious Muslim organisation giving the Islamic equivalent of a halachic decision — but they have no resources.” But she said examples of Muslim antisemitism, such as those seen at Sunday’s Al Quds rally in central London, were “disgusting. It’s abhorrent, it should be stopped. I think people need to be held to account for their words. The first thing that needs to happen is for that to be seen as antisemitic, as an incitement to racial hatred.
“I have this duality around my wonderful volunteering with the Muslim community; on the one hand, you feel you have to be involved, you need to bring change, you need to have the conversations. On the other, I know the situation is very difficult in many spaces.”
Rabbi Roni Tabick of the New Stoke Newington Shul, said his community were “shocked and horrified… we were actually celebrating Iftar with the East London Mosque at an interfaith event and to think at the same time someone was planning to murder Muslims in our local community is quite harrowing.
“We’re looking to find ways to show support and solidarity and find ways to work together to increase love and peace in the world”.
Various organisations, including the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council also condemned the attack.