Sadiq Khan has praised Britons for how they supported each other after 7/7, ahead of the 10th anniversary of the London terrorist attacks.
The London mayoral candidate told Eastern Eye people of all faiths did not hunt for “scapegoats” after the bombings but instead came together to condemn extremism.
A service will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral on Tuesday (7) to remember the 52 people who died in 2005 after four suicide bombers targeted three Tube trains and a bus. There will also be a wreath-laying ceremony at the Hyde Park memorial to the victims and a minute’s silence on public transport.
Khan hailed the spirit of Londoners, but also warned that unless police are given maximum resources, they will be hampered in their fight to combat terrorism.
The Labour MP for Tooting in south London told EE: “In the aftermath of those heinous acts it would have been easy for London and Londoners to have turned in on itself – to find scapegoats – to paint one community, one faith as enemies of our city – but we didn’t.
“It is to the eternal credit of our modern, multicultural city that its people, ordinary Londoners, came together to oppose the extremist not a community.
“Ten years on from 7/7 we have to remain vigilant against extremism. The extremism that perverts my faith, grooms people into believing that violence, death and destruction are the solutions.
“That means providing the police with the resources they need to stop these attacks before they happen.”
Among the victims on 7/7 were Delhi-born computer programmer Neetu Jain, radiographer Mala Trivedi, Royal Mail worker Shyanuja Parathasangary and bank cashier Shahara Islam.
Around 700 people also suffered injuries after the bombings at Russell Square, Edgware Road and Aldgate station and the number 30 bus at Tavistock Square.
Sajda Mughal was travelling on the Piccadilly Line train that day where 26 passengers died. Mughal and fellow commuters were freed after a group of men broke the train door and walked along the tracks to get help.
The former investment banker joined the JAN Trust, a charity which works on empowering women and tackling extremism, following her terrifying ordeal.
She said: “The carriage was filled with black smoke, people were screaming.
“People were bleeding and hurt, and had fallen on each other.
“I had thoughts about death running through my mind if another train hit us.”