A vast change for the better in the declared outlook of British Muslims has occurred in a very few years. Our press finds it easier to report bad news, and the attack at Finsbury Park certainly falls into that category.
This horrible assault has intensified the fear among Muslims that they will attract aggressive rudeness, or worse, if they so much as venture outside their front doors: a fear about which I shall say something at the end of this piece.
Coming so soon after other horrors, including the attacks at Westminster, the Manchester Arena and London Bridge, and the Grenfell Tower fire, the attack in Finsbury Park can easily intensify the fear that our tolerant, live-and-let-live civilisation is doomed.
And yet the van attack has also drawn attention to an altogether more hopeful development. The Finsbury Park Mosque, just across the railway from the Muslim Welfare House where the attack occurred, used to be a byword for terrorism.
It was opened in 1994 by Prince Charles, as ever in the vanguard of attempts to embrace new movements and secure for them a treasured place in the heart of the British Establishment.
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