WORSHIPPERS hit by a car in an apparent anti-Muslim attack are ‘extremely fortunate’ to be alive, a police chief said.
Three people were hurt when the vehicle mowed down pedestrians outside a mosque in Cricklewood, north-west London, early yesterday.
A man in his 50s is in hospital with a serious leg injury and two men in their 20s were treated for minor injuries, Scotland Yard said.
People in the car allegedly shouted ‘you dirty Muslims’ before driving at a crowd leaving a lecture at the Al-majlis Al-Hussaini centre at 12.30am.
Witnesses said the Nissan’s occupants — three men and a woman in their mid-20s — had just been told to leave a private car park where they had been drinking, taking drugs and behaving anti-socially.
Met Ch Supt Simon Rose said: ‘The people who had been challenged then drove at members of the community in a car. The vehicle drove off and was involved in a fail-to-stop accident. We were extremely fortunate there was no loss of life.’
He said the incident is being treated as an Islamophobic hate crime.
In a statement posted on social media, the Hussaini Association, which organised the lecture, said people in the red Nissan Juke ‘were heard shouting anti-Islamic taunts’ before the car ‘swerved into innocent bystanders, hitting at least five people’.
It added: ‘Fortunately, a number of volunteers stood between the vehicle and patrons heading home. These acts of bravery potentially saved the lives of dozens of innocent people.’
Detectives are analysing CCTV in a bid to trace the driver. No arrests have been made.