UK Muslims praise 'hero taxi driver' in Liverpool explosion
The UK's largest Muslim umbrella organisation paid tribute on Monday to the "hero taxi driver" in Sunday’s terror attack in Liverpool.
David Perry managed to escape before a bomb exploded in his cab outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital on Remembrance Sunday, a British holiday honouring war dead and veterans.
The Muslim Council of Britain praised Perry's bravery saying his "swift response may have prevented a wider atrocity" - expressing widely shared concerns that the hospital, nearby Cathedral or mosque was the intended target.
"Nothing justifies this reprehensible act, and we praise the quick action of David Perry who prevented a terrorist attack," said Zara Mohammed, Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain.
Perry was injured in the blast but has since been discharged from hospital, according to the BBC.
His wife said it was "an utter miracle" he escaped from the vehicle and that he is "lucky to be alive".
Zara Mohammed spoke about the impact of the attack on Britain's Muslim community in Monday's statement.
"Many Muslims work at the hospital and the institution is a neighbour to one of the city's largest mosques. This is an attack on all of us and the values we all hold dear," Mohammed said.
"Liverpool has a special place in the history of the British Muslims, being home to one of the earliest Muslim communities in Victorian England," she added.
One of England's first registered mosques was located just a few miles from Liverpool's city centre, on Brougham Terrace.
Today, the Muslim community in Liverpool, a northern UK city was a population of around 500,000, is estimated to be 2,500 - making Islam the second most widely practiced religion in the area.
On Monday, UK police named the man who died in Perry's taxi when a homemade device blew up as Emad Al Swealmeen.
It is understood that the 32-year-old suspect was an asylum seeker who converted to Christianity from Islam in 2017.
The attack follows the murder of British Conservative MP Sir David Amess in October.
The UK terror threat level has been raised to "severe" in the wake of the Liverpool explosion.