Hero Finsbury Park mosque imam described by friends as ‘London lad who loves biryanis’


The hero imam who guarded the Finsbury Park mosque terror suspect until police came to detain him has been described by friends as a “London lad” who loves biryanis. 

Mohammed Mahmoud, 30, was praised for his actions after he stopped a group of up to 100 people from attacking Darren Osborne, who is accused of carrying out the attack outside the mosque last Monday.

But friends said the father-of-three, who previously studied at the European Institute for Human Sciences in London, is a “London lad”, “film buff” and “foodie” who is keen to play down his role as a hero.

Iqbal Malik, a friend of Mr Mahmoud since 2003, told the Sunday Times: “He loves hanging out at home with friends and he’s a real foodie,”

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Prince Charles speaks to imam Mohammed Mahmoud (AP)

“He’s an extremely good cook. And he loves learning new recipes and tips. He often asks mates, ‘Can you get your mum to teach me how she makes biryani?’”

Mr Malik, who attended La Swap sixth-form college in Highgate, north London with Mr Mahmoud, told the newspaper that his friend was also a “film buff” and liked the Batman v Superman film.

Vigil after Finsbury Park mosque attack

During a sermon the imam gave during Friday prayers at the Muslim Welfare House, he praised his community for controlling their anger after the attack and urged the worshippers to pray for the victims of recent terror atrocities in London and Manchester.

He told the Sunday Times he had not intervened by himself to protect the alleged attacker and that it was a “community effort” and “collective effort of retraint”.

Last Monday, Toufik Kacimi, chief executive of the Muslim Welfare House, said Mr Mahmoud’s “bravery and courage helped calm the immediate situation after the incident”.

On Wednesday, Mr Mahmoud met Prince Charles when he visited the scene of the attack.

The Prince of Wales said that he was “deeply impressed” by the imam who shielded the suspect until police arrived and “his remarkable actions on that occasion”.

“Thank goodness we have wonderful leaders,” he added.

Osborne, 47, of no fixed address, remanded in custody on charges of murder and attempted murder after appearing at Westminister Magistrates’ Court on Friday afternoon. 

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Source : http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/hero-finsbury-park-mosque-imam-described-by-friends-as-london-lad-who-loves-biryanis-a3572656.html

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