British Muslims have condemned last night's knife attack at an east London Tube station, which saw a man shouting "this is for Syria" before leaving one man seriously injured and wounding one other. Imams from Leytonstone Islamic Association said they "strongly condemn any form of violence and terrorism and any violent acts", adding that the arrested man was not known to them.
Speaking in Leyton today, Imam Imran Patel told gathered media: "He is not a member of the congregation of Leytonstone and his actions only he can answer for himself." The brutal knife attack was "totally unacceptable", Patel said.
"Islam does not allow and does not have a place for any acts of violence and terrorism. Leytonstone is a well-integrated and multicultural community. We live in peace and harmony," the imam added.
Patel's sentiments were echoed on social media, where #YouAintNoMuslimBruv is trending. The hashtag is a reference to a phrase shouted by an onlooker as police Tasered the attacker before arresting him.
Most of the tweets posted using #YouAintNoMuslimBruv praised the bystander. Others celebrated the unique Britishness of the hashtag.
The hashtag echoes the Twitter response following last month's terrorist attacks in Paris. In that case, social media users began sharing the hashtag #PorteOuverte – meaning Open Door – to offer accommodation for any tourists who were stranded in the French capital, after airports and the Eurostar was temporarily closed.
There were also plenty of positive reactions to the police response to the situation, which was successfully brought to a close without loss of life. Officers Tasered the knifeman several times before getting him to roll over onto his front and allow them to handcuff him.
Officers were called to the scene at 7.06pm yesterday evening, following reports of a stabbing. Dramatic footage filmed on a mobile phone revealed how panicked commuters were still trapped inside the station when officers arrived at the scene and succeeded in preventing further injuries.
"We are treating this as a terrorist incident," said the leader of the Metropolitan Police's Counter Terrorism Command in a statement. "I would urge the public to remain calm, but alert and vigilant."
Several videos posted from the scene showed pools of blood on the station floor. Witnesses claimed the attacker, who is believed to be aged 29, had used a hobby knife approximately three inches in length to carry out the attack.
The #YouAintNoMuslimBruv hashtag was trending on Twitter as more information emerged on the possible identity of the man who was left with serious injuries.
Eyewitness Salim Patel, 59, who works in a food kiosk in Leytonstone underground station's ticket hall, told the Guardian that the assailant repeatedly punched the victim "like a boxer" until he lost consciousness, before attacking him with the knife. He added that one of the victims was a white man who had been carrying a musical instrument, possibly a guitar.
Salim Patel also spoke to the Mirror, where he was quoted as saying: "He [the knifeman] was hitting and punching the victim so hard he fell on the floor and then he kicked him for a long time." He added: "Everyone was shouting and screaming and he was punching the victim so hard he was screaming somebody help me."
One eyewitness told the Telegraph: "It took about seven minutes for police to arrive. I was worried, there was a lot of panic."
He added: "One guy came to me and said that someone got stabbed. There was a guy shouting 'Get out the station'. But people were curious so they stayed in the station."
In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said: "Officers gave first aid to a 56-year-old man who sustained serious knife injuries," adding that he was taken to an east London hospital where he remains in a stable condition. "His injuries are not believed to be life-threatening," they said.
The suspected knifeman was arrested at 7.14pm and remains in custody at an east London police station. The Met Police issued a statement saying counter-terrorism officers searched a residential address in east London.