An Attack on Muslims Shakes Cosmopolitan London

London may be the most diverse and tolerant city in the world and is home to more than one million Muslims from dozens of countries. The city’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, is Muslim, and he enjoys broad support outside the Muslim community, too. When Britain voted to leave the European Union, London voted to stay.


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But this proudly cosmopolitan city is now confronted with the tensions and ugliness that have been simmering on the fringes for years and are boiling to the surface.

As Hamdan Omar, another student who grew up in the area, put it, “There are people on both sides who want the clash of civilizations.”

The man under investigation for the mosque attack was identified by the police as Darren Osborne, 47, of Cardiff, Wales. Prime Minister Theresa May, who has been criticized for her response to the Grenfell fire, denounced the assault as an act of “evil” and “hatred” and promised to bolster security at mosques.

The authorities said they were treating the attack as an act of terrorism against Muslims, while many of the city’s Muslim leaders pleaded for calm and warned against a rising tide of anti-Islamic sentiment.

“Over the past weeks and months, Muslims have endured many incidents of

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