Muslim women Finsbury Park 1
How Muslims feel after the Finsbury Park attack
01:22 - Source: CNN
London CNN  — 

A series of deadly terror attacks in Britain in recent weeks had left Muslims in north London fearing reprisals, but they never thought that violence would happen on their doorstep.

It was just after midnight on Monday when a van mounted the sidewalk and plowed through a crowd of worshippers walking home from mosques in Finsbury Park following Ramadan prayers.

At least one man died and 10 others were injured in the attack, which police are now treating as a “terrorist incident.” A 48-year-old white man was wrestled to the ground by members of the public and arrested at the scene on suspicion of attempted murder. He has since been detained on suspicion of terror offences.

A woman in a blue hijab walks past the five-story red brick Finsbury Park Mosque -- the scene of Monday's attack.

Muna Mohammad was safe at home with her children when the attack unfolded nearby. Looking on at the scene from behind a police cordon hours later, holding her young son’s hand, Mohammad says her family left Mogadishu, Somalia, to escape violence like this.

“We came here to feel safe. But look, we aren’t safe. We’re sick and tired of terror. When I wake up and look at the news it’s always another attack. Why is this happening here in the UK?” Mohammad, 32, asked.

"One of my relatives, who is around 80, was injured in the attack. She was praying at the time," Muna Mohammad, who regularly attends Finsbury Park Mosque, said.

On Monday morning, suited commuters on their way to work and mothers dressed in hijabs, schoolchildren in tow, streamed in and out of Finsbury Park Underground Station, just around the corner from the scene of the attack. The crowd was a cross-section of this diverse London area, which, despite ever-increasing gentrification, is home to a wide array of nationalities and backgrounds.

The area is probably best known for Arsenal Football Club, and on game days at the nearby Emirates Stadium, the streets around this transit hub are awash with fans dressed in red and white.

A policeman gives directions to people outside Finsbury Park station. Many on Monday morning were trying to navigate cordons blocking streets around the mosque.

On most Fridays, the faithful stream towards several mosques in the neighborhood, home to a large Muslim community of mostly North and West African descent.

“I pray in front of the mosque on Fridays, but when it’s full I pray in the street. In the back of my mind I’ve wondered if it’s safe,” Ali, who was at home during the attack, says.

“These days, a car is a weapon. It’s pretty scary.”

"We have seen a rise in Islamophobia ... as a result of all the terror attacks," said 34-year-old Sultan, whose relative was injured at Finsbury Park Mosque. "Our mothers and sisters who go out about their daily lives, they are easily recognizable because they have the hijab and Islamic attire. They become easy targets."

Many local residents were angered that the media took longer to use the word “terror attack” to describe what had happened here than it had two weeks ago, when three Muslim men rammed a van into crowds of people on London Bridge.

In a statement issued around six hours after the incident, Finsbury Park Mosque condemned the “heinous” act and said they were “extremely unhappy with the mainstream media not reporting this as a terrorist attack.”

British Prime Minister Theresa May said officers had decided to treat the incident as a terror attack within eight minutes of receiving the first emergency call, but the Metropolitan Police only announced they were treating it as terrorism more than eight hours later.

"We had Iftar [breaking fast] at the chief rabbi's home last night. Two hours later, this happens," Yousif al-Khoei, executive director of the Al-Khoei Foundation in London and director of the Centre for Academic Shi'a Studies, said. "We cannot allow these extremists to divide us."

Just three days ago, an Is