JK Rowling is asking all the right questions about the Finsbury Park terror attack

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Kayleigh Dray
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JK Rowling has always been vocal about her opinions on Twitter, calling out the likes of President Donald Trump, Prime Minister Theresa May and garden variety meninists and trolls on a regular basis.

However the Harry Potter author won the respect of many social media users last night when she made it her business to speak out about the recent attack in Finsbury Park – and challenged certain media personalities and sections of the press for contributions to the narrative about terrorism and Islam.

In the early hours of Monday 19 June, a man drove a van into crowds of people outside a mosque in Finsbury Park, north London. One man died and at least 10 other people were injured.

One witness told reporters that the driver, a 48-year-old white man, had shouted “I want to kill all Muslims” before he was restrained on the ground and police arrived.

Rowling, in order to highlight the hypocrisy demonstrated by some in responding to the incident, has retweeted Twitter posts from the likes of former UKIP leader Nigel Farage and professional troll Katie Hopkins, both of whom have huge followings on the social media platform and who have previously been called upon by American news outlets as representatives of the UK.

Rowling also named certain newspapers and tabloids, writing that they had “misspelled ‘terrorist’ as ‘white van driver’.”

And she was not the only one challenging the right-wing press over skewed coverage:

Hopkins and Farage have both since responded to Rowling’s comments: the former labelled the author a “christianophobic”, while the latter insisted that this sort of “prejudice is unhelpful”.

Rowling, however, was not deterred from the point she wanted to make – and later shared a screengrab of an article which she felt perfectly summed up what she needed to say.

“Anti-Muslim terrorists and Islamists share a key belief,” she captioned the piece, which argued that the “one thing that far right anti-Muslim extremists and violent jihadists have in common is the belief that peaceful coexistence between Muslim and non-Muslim is impossible”.

Prime Minister Theresa May has confirmed that the Finsbury Park incident is being treated as a terrorist attack, and has said that security around mosques will be reviewed.

“Extra police resources have already been deployed to reassure communities, and the police will continue to assess the security needs of mosques, and provide any additional resources needed, especially during this final week before Eid al-Fitr, a particularly important time for the whole Muslim community,” said May, speaking from Downing Street on Monday (19 June).

She added that the attack had targeted the “ordinary and innocent”, and finished by saying: “Hatred and evil of this kind will never succeed.”

Elsewhere, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he was “totally shocked” by the incident and added that “an attack on a mosque, an attack on a synagogue, an attack on a church is actually an attack on all of us”.

  • Police have asked anyone with information regarding the Finsbury Park attack to call the counter-terrorism hotline on 0800 789 321

Images: Rex Features


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.