Commemorating a beloved father, grandfather and friend
The life of Makram Ali has been commemorated and celebrated by his friends and family with the dedication of a memorial tree and plaque in a quiet garden in Finsbury Park.
A beloved father and grandfather, Mr Ali, 51, was murdered in the terrorist attack in Finsbury Park on 19 June 2017.
Mr Ali, who was married with four daughters and two sons, often played with his two grandchildren in the gardens at Clifton Court in Finsbury Park, near where he lived.
On Thursday 15 March 2018, Mr Ali’s family attended a memorial event in the gardens – a special place for Mr Ali – where a Cercis tree has been planted and a plaque placed in his memory.
The memorial event was also attended by Imam Mohammed Mahmoud, of Muslim Welfare House, who led an opening prayer; Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London; Cressida Dick, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police; Cllr Richard Watts, Leader of Islington Council; Cllr Andy Hull, Islington Council’s Executive Member for Community Safety; and a number of the survivors who were injured in last year’s terrorist attack.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “It is a privilege to come here today to honour the memory of Makram Ali on behalf of all Londoners – and to reflect on the strength and solidarity shown by Makram Ali’s friends and family.
“Acts of terror are designed to divide our communities and stop us leading the lives we do. But the way in which the people of Finsbury Park and the whole of London came together in the aftermath of last year’s attack makes me prouder than ever to be Mayor of this great city.”
Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Cressida Dick, said: “It has been my honour to have been invited to this memorial event in celebration of Mr Ali’s life. It was a fitting tribute to Mr Ali, who I understand to have been a loving, family man. Our condolences and thoughts remain with his family. Our thoughts are also with everyone who was injured.
“The attack on this community and the other terrible events that occurred in our great city last year have only served to strengthen our resolve in preventing further attacks where possible, to protect our communities and to target those individuals who wish to cause division. We will continue to work with our communities to stand united in the face of hate.”
Cllr Hull said: “Last summer, a far-right terrorist sought to divide Islington’s diverse community. Instead, he brought us even closer together. Mr Ali’s family have shown extraordinary courage and composure ever since the night of his tragic murder. On behalf of all of Islington, it is an honour to help them commemorate his life today.”
In February, far-right terrorist Darren Osborne was found guilty of Mr Ali’s murder and the attempted murder of a crowd of others, and sentenced to life in prison. His van fatally struck Mr Ali and hit and injured 12 other Muslim worshippers on their way home from late-night Ramadan prayers, many of them seriously.
Islington Council is continuing to provide help and support to those who were injured or affected and their families, and has worked with Mr Ali’s family to create an appropriate memorial.