A Hartlepool mosque has said it will continue to spread love and unity in wake of an attack on the Muslim community in London.
Nasir Mosque, in Brougham Terrace, has held a number of events in recent years where visitors could chat to local Muslim leaders to promote better understanding of the religion.
Following an attack at the Muslim Welfare House in Finsbury Park, Bilal Atkinson, who is the regional president of Ahmadiyya Muslim Association UK – which runs the Hartlepool mosque – says it remains open to everyone.
It comes as Cleveland Police say they are continuing to monitor any reported incidents of hate crime and would urge any victims of hate crime to come forward.
Speaking on behalf of the mosque, Mr Atkinson said: “The mosque is still open and we are carrying on as normal.
“An attack on anyone is sickening and we are shocked by what has happened.
“The intention is create mistrust and hatred, but we and all of the other mosques teach of love for all and hatred for none. Hatred only brings bad things.”
The incident saw a van drive into worshippers, killing one man and injuring 10 others.
But despite what has happened, Mr Atkinson said its security measures are still sufficient and will remain the same, with CCTV and caretakers.
Mr Atkinson said the mosque has a good relationship with the police and community.
He said: “The vast majority of people are nice, normal people.
“There is only a few people who go astray and these evil-minded people come from all sections of society.”
Assistant Chief Constable Adrian Roberts, of Cleveland Police said the incident was an attack on innocent people.
He said: “We stand together with our communities following the news of another horrific terrorist incident, which appears to be a deliberate attack on innocent people as they walked home from Finsbury Park Mosque after prayers.
“There will be people across Cleveland who are concerned about the events.
“Officers will be providing visible reassurance patrols and we will be engaging with our communities to provide information and support. We are continuing to monitor any reported incidents of hate crime in Cleveland and would urge anyone who is a victim of hate crime to come forward.
“We will thoroughly investigate the incident and do all we can to bring the perpetrator to justice.
“We do not tolerate hate crime in any form.”