(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
An imam intervened to stop local residents from beating a man accused of driving into people on Monday outside a London mosque after Ramadan prayers, and one official said "his bravery and courage" potentially saved the man's life.
The suspect was yanked from the cab of his van by a furious crowd as he sought to reverse and escape after injuring 10 people in what police said was a deliberate attack on Muslims that was being treated as terrorism.
The man was being held down, beaten and kicked when Muslim cleric Mohammed Mahmoud stepped in to plead with people just to restrain him until police arrived.
"We found that a group of people quickly started to collect around him, around the assailant and some tried to hit him either with kicks or punches. By God's grace we managed to surround him and to protect him from any harm," Mahmoud said.
"We managed to extinguish any flames of anger or mob rule that might have taken charge," he told reporters, adding he was acting with "a group of mature brothers."