An imam who stopped crowds from taking their revenge on the Finsbury Park attacker has been honoured with a major award.
Mohammed Mahmoud has received the Hubert Walter Award for Reconciliation and Interfaith Cooperation after he intervened to prevent anyone attacking Darren Osborne.
In February, the father of four was jailed for at least 43 years for the murderous attack.
Imam Mohammed Mahmoud receives The Hubert Walter Award for Reconciliation and Interfaith Cooperation for his courageous, selfless intervention to prevent violence against a driver who had run down pedestrians in Finsbury Park #LambethAwards@FPMosque @Mwh_London pic.twitter.com/O0ai5cuUCJ
— Lambeth Palace ن (@lambethpalace) April 6, 2018
During Osborne’s trial his actions were contrasted to those of Mohammed Mahmoud, who somehow managed to stop the gathered crowd from attacking Osborne.
‘This was a demonstration of true leadership. His behaviour throws into sharp relief the bile spewed out online from those who aspire to lead the haters,’ said Mrs Justice Cheem-Grubb.
‘Not because his exhortation to desist from punishing the perpetrator was remarkable but because he had the strength of character to do the right thing under pressure. He chose to respond to evil with good.’
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The imam has received wide praise for his actions in the moments after the deadly attack.
As tempers rose in the immediate aftermath, at least one man managed to punch Osborne. But amid the clamour, Mahmoud shouted out: ‘No one touch him – no one! No one!’
He then quickly flagged down police officers.
Last December, he told the Guardian he acted because ‘ the situation could get out of control.’
He has been described as a ‘hero imam’.
Reflecting on his actions, he said: ‘It’s almost a back-handed compliment when they say ‘hero imam’. The norm is that Muslims would have lynched this guy and killed him? No, the norm is to do what I did.’
The prestigious Hubert Walter award is named after a 12th century Archbishop of Canterbury.
Mahmoud received his award from the current Archbishop, Justin Welby, at Lambeth Palace.