Daily Mail Under Fire For Their Headline On The Finsbury Park Mosque Attack

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Shortly after midnight, on Monday morning, a man drove his van into a crowd of people leaving a Mosque in Finsbury Park, North London.

The 48-year-old terror suspect ploughed his white van into a large group of people, killing one person and injuring ten in the process. The driver reportedly committed the heinous attack to specifically target the Muslim community, and many news outlets have referred to the crime as a ‘revenge attack’.

In the first few hours of news coverage, however, the word ‘terrorist’ was scarcely mentioned in any of the headlines. Many major names – including former English Defence League leader, Tommy Robinson – made no reference to the attack being an act of terror, and even went so far to try and justify the act by implicating the mosque that was targeted.

Tommy then went on to say: “… I’ve said many times if government or police don’t sort these centres of hate they will create monsters as seen tonight.”

Such words wrongly put the mosque and victims of the terror attack at the centre of blame.

J.K.Rowling quickly took to Twitter to condemn Robinson’s incorrect information, pointing out that the Finsbury Park Mosque had actually won an award for their efforts and success in combating extremism.

The Daily Mail also received quite a bit of backlash for its initial headline regarding the terror attack.

In another case of victim blaming and attempted justification of the crime, the news outlet referenced the mosque’s fictitious and untruthful history with extremism:

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White van driver injures at least 10 people after ploughing into a crowd outside London’s Finsbury Park mosque where hate cleric Abu Hamza once preached as Muslims finish their evening prayers” The headline read.

The Daily Mail came under immediate fire as many pointed out the negative rhetoric of their headline, which was later edited and changed. In their initial release of the article, the terror suspect was referred to as a mere “white van driver”, with more attention paid to the fictitious extremist history of the mosque.

J.K. Rowling was once again among the many who expressed their upset at this ignorant display of victim-blaming. She also praised the imam who reportedly attempted to protect the terror suspect from harm at the crowd’s hands:

Here is what other Twitter users had to say about Tommy Robinson’s comments as well as the media coverage of the attack:

The terror suspect has been arrested and police have said that he would be “subject of a mental health assessment in due course”. Police officers have also been to sent to reassure communities in the area, especially those observing Ramadan.

London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, said that his thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the “horrific terrorist attack on innocent people”. 

Our thoughts are with all those affected by this act of terror. 

Images via Twitter/Daily Mail/Rex Shutterstock

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