A mosque whose worshippers were mown down by a far-right terrorist has been targeted with vile letters containing white powder and threatening new atrocities against Muslims.
Toufik Kacimi, chief executive of the Muslim Welfare House, revealed the extent of the hate campaign to The Independent a year after the Finsbury Park attack left one man dead and 12 victims injured.
“There are thousands of other Darren Osbornes and it’s just a matter of time,” said one threat sent to the mosque and community centre.
“What Darren Osborne did was just the beginning, we will kill you all,” read another.
Mr Kacimi said the fresh threats, which have all been reported to police, left some people too scared to leave their homes or let their children walk to school, adding: “You just have to conduct your life as normally as possible but it was threatening.
“People are fearing for their lives, even a van can be a weapon now to kill people.”
Some hate mail has been personally directed at imam Mohammed Mahmoud, who was praised by a judge for preventing survivors of the Finsbury Park attack beating Osborne and helping police detain him.
“They knew what they were doing, they knew the organisation, they knew the address, they knew some of our names,” Mr Kacimi said.
“We have had to take so many extra security measures… before it was so peaceful.
“This is a place where people come to get together, socialise, have a moment for prayer and reflection.
“We are a charity offering a place where people can relax, but you can’t anymore. We have to quiz people: ‘Who are you? Let me check your bag, what is inside?’”
Sitting next to busy Finsbury Park station in London, the Muslim Welfare House used to have an open-door policy for worship, education, training, meetings and other events.
Now, the black metal gate is often shut and visitors are checked on a camera intercom before being buzzed inside, then watched by more than 30 new CCTV cameras.
A new intruder alarm has been installed and private security guards have been hired to work extra hours.
Mr Kacimi is concerned that such protections cannot be effective until the root cause of extremism is tackled.
“A year on from the attack, I feel that the messages of hate are still very much there,” he said.
“It’s a cancer and I cannot see the difference between those who commit acts of terrorism under the name of Islam and people like Darren Osborne.
“They are exactly the same – the hate, the means, the language, it’s exactly the same.”