'Hero Imam' calls for National Day against Islamophobia on the anniversary of Finsbury Park attack

Mohammed Mahmoud Credit: ITV News

The headline or hashtag "Hero Imam" has hung heavily on Mohammed Mahmoud since he stepped in to calm tempers after the fatal terrorist attack in Finsbury Park in North London a year ago.

On Monday he told ITV News: "We Brits don't deal well with praise."

Darren Osborne was found guilty of ramming a van onto a crowded pavement filled with Muslim worshippers shortly after midnight on June 19.

Despite the horrific scenes the imam faced in the immediate aftermath of the attack, Mahmoud kept the crowd from hurting Osborne until the police arrived by forming a cordon around him in a semicircle.

“I stood with my back to him, never even saw his face, so I could keep other people away - to make sure that he answers for his crime.

"People pushed back. But twice I heard someone say, "No, that's the imam of the mosque. Listen to him."

Osborne crashed the van into people outside a mosque. Credit: PA

On Thursday, Mohammed Mahmoud will meet the Prime Minister, to call for National Day against Islamophobia.

"Previously not enough has been done with the rise of the far-right where Islamophobia no longer exists in the fringes of the right-wing but it's become more and more normalised.

"Platforms are being offered to notorious Islamophobes even within Parliament - these developments are worrying and they're dangerous," he said.

The Egyptian born imam said he received assurances from the Home Secretary Sajid Javid about the Government's commitment to tackling Islamophobia.

"Tackling the issue is a priority of this government now and that it's been given precedence as part of their agenda to deal with all forms of terrorism as it is not unique to one group."