AN IMAM has condemned this morning’s “cowardly” terror attack on worshippers outside a mosque and called for greater protection from the Muslim community.

One man died and eight others were injured when a van drove into a group of people outside Muslim Welfare House near Finsbury Park Mosque in north London just after midnight (June 19).

Worshippers had just finished their evening prayers after breaking the Ramadan fast and were helping an elderly man who had collapsed near the mosque in Seven Sisters Road.

Witness Abdul Rahman told the BBC the attacker shouted he wanted to “kill all Muslims” and Scotland Yard declared it a terror incident within eight minutes.

South Woodford Imam Dr Mohammed Fahim said he was “saddened and dismayed” by this morning’s events.

He said: “This was a cowardly attack on innocent people coming out of prayers.

“They had nothing to do with any terrorist attacks in London or elsewhere. On the contrary all Muslim communities in Britain strongly condemn such attacks.”

The leader of the Qur’ani Murkuz Trust in Mulberry Way recalled when his own mosque was burnt down 16 years ago and called for greater security measures to be put in place.

He added: “Mosque management committees must ensure the safety of worshippers inside.

“But protecting people outside is another major issue especially when large numbers gather on the curb, as this could attract terrorists to drive through them.

“We demand police presence around our premises, but with cuts know this is difficult to achieve.”

Dr Fahim urged worshippers not to congregate outside mosques and to be vigilant when crossing roads nearby.

Wanstead Parish Rector Revd Jack Dunn offered his solidarity to the Muslim community and to all those affected by the Finsbury Park attack.

He said: “This terror attack is a sad reminder there are still people in the world who wish to divide us, and who would especially like to see people of different faiths in conflict.

“At the heart of most of the world’s faiths, including Christianity, there is a call for people to recognise each other in our shared humanity.

“Today our thoughts and prayers are with our Muslim brothers and sisters.”

Leyton and Wanstead MP John Cryer added he was “shocked and appalled by the “bigotry, hatred, and ignorance” of the terrorist.

His Labour colleague in Ilford North Wes Streeting promised to reach out to local mosques and urged people to “pull together and support each other in this time of national tragedy.”

A 48-year-old man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of attempted murder.