Members of the Muslim community in Finsbury Park, London, have expressed anger and frustration for what they perceived as initial reluctance by the media and authorities to define Sunday's (19 June) attack as a terror attack.

At least one person was killed and another ten injured when a man rammed a van into pedestrians outside a mosque in Seven Sisters Road.

The victims were Muslims worshippers who had gone to the mosque to pray after Iftar, the breaking of the dawn-to-dusk fast observed during the month of Ramadan.

The 48-year-old suspect, whose identity has not been disclosed, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, and is now in police custody.

"At the beginning it was labelled as an incident, but it was not an incident, it was a terror attack," a Muslim man who was at the scene in the aftermath of the attack, told IBTimes UK.

The man, who identified himself only as Mohammed, continued: "If it was a guy with a beard who had done this, people would have said straight away: It is a Muslim, and it is a terror attack, but because it was a white guy, then he was a 'lone ranger'. No-one said anything about his religion, if he was a Christian, or a Jew.

"The reason why we are here today is to make sure people say it is a terror attack and not an incident, because the truth has to be told."

Prime Minister Theresa May said police were treating the incident as "potential terrorist attack". On 19 June, May said the Metropolitan Police declared it a "terrorist incident" within eight minutes.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said "terrorism is terrorism. We're a great city. We can't allow these terrorists to fuel division or to change the way we lead our lives."

The views of the witnesses who spoke to IBTimes UK were echoed by some netizens, who took to social media to express their opinion on the matter.

"This is a terrorist attack, the perpetrator is a white terrorist," a Twitter user said.

Reprisals

Witnesses who claimed that while police arrived at the scene within ten minutes, the ambulance "took about 40 minutes to arrive", also told IBTimes UK the alleged attacker reportedly shouted at least three times "I want to kill Muslims" before ramming the van into pedestrians. The alleged attacker also reportedly said "kill me now as my job is done" when people managed to stop him.

Members of the Muslim community claimed the mosque attack was not an isolated episode as Muslims across London have been experiencing a rise in Islamophobic attacks. They said reprisal attacks targeting Muslims tend to increase following terror attacks committed by people "labelled as Muslims".

"The government and media always say it is Muslims Muslims Muslims when terror attacks happen, so people will end up hating Muslims," Mohammed said.

"Forget today, it is just in general, it happens every day," a man who lives in the area said. The source, spoke on conditions of anonymity fearing reprisal, added: "When there was the stabbing incident [in London Bridge], do you know how many Muslims women were attacked after that? Women with black eyes, they had acid thrown in their face, everything is happening because of how the media portray [Muslims], people keep targeting Muslims because of Islamophobia."

The Muslim Council of Britain said the van "intentionally" hit worshippers and labelled the attack at Finsbury Park as a "violent manifestation of Islamophobia".

In the aftermath of the attack, the Mayor of London urged victim of hate crime to report the incident to the police.

"The good news is [that] after the Westminster Bridge terrorist attack we didn't see a big spike in hate crime [or] Islamophobic crime ... The bad news is we have seen a big spike after London Bridge," Khan said.

This could be the fourth terror attack to occur on British soil in the recent month. At least seven people were killed and 48 injured in a knife and a vehicle assault in London bridge in June.

Suicide bomber Salman Abedi killed at least 22 people – including children – at the Manchester Arena during an Ariana Grande concert on 22 May.

In March, at least four people were killed when British-born Khalid Masood ploughed his car into innocent pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and outside the Palace of Westminster.