SEC PRESIDENT VISITS FINSBURY PARK MUSLIM WELFARE HOUSE TO MEET WITH IMAM
7th July 2017
On Tuesday 4 July, South England Conference (SEC) President, Pastor Emmanuel Osei, visited Imam Toufik Kacimi, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of the Finsbury Park Muslim Welfare House, to deliver words of sympathy and condolences in the aftermath of the Finsbury Park terror attack.
In the message delivered, Osei said, “On behalf of the members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South England Conference, I want to express our shock and dismay at the appalling and senseless attack on innocent worshippers that took place on Monday 19 June at your Muslim Welfare House in Finsbury Park. We want you to know that as members of faith, we do sympathise with the trauma caused by this evil act, and we totally condemn it. We also want to commend you for your bravery in shielding the terror suspect until the police arrived. We would like you to know that our sincere prayers and thoughts are with you all and the family of the deceased and those who were injured. Please be assured of our prayers as you continue to worship.”
In response to the President’s visit, the Imam expressed appreciation for the visit and the solidarity shown by Pastor Osei, and the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Kacimi also praised the work of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the area and said they have had the privilege of sharing in training offered in New Life Adventist church for the benefit of the community and he also commended the work of Malika Bediako, SEC Community Services director in the Haringey area, for her work with “faiths working together”.
Kacimi shared the challenge that they face with new young converts who tend to be attracted toward radicalism. He said: “We do a lot of work tackling youth employment, youth engagement, domestic violence, gun culture, and substance misuse.” The centre attracts people from diverse backgrounds. “We have Somalis, Albanians, Bengalis, Indians, Algerians – you name it.”
He says they are open to working together with other faith groups to find lasting solutions to this situation, given that the purpose of the Muslim Welfare House is to support young people through various training.
Pastor Osei in turn thanked Imam Kacimi for the reception and the Iman’s openness to work with others in tackling the challenge of displaced youth in the community. Osei added that he should count on the support of the South England Conference for the fight against hate crime.
The attack, which was a hate crime, resulted in the death of one worshipper, and several who were wounded as a van driver struck pedestrians coming out of the mosque. Two persons are still in a critical condition according to Kacimi. There was widespread condemnation across the nation against any form of hate crime.
[Sam O Davies - SEC Communication Director]