The Muslim Council of Britain has called for extra security around mosques, describing the Finsbury Park van attack as "the most violent manifestation" of Islamophobia.

The council's secretary general Harun Khan said he expected authorities to step up security "as a matter of urgency", adding many would feel "terrorised" following the incident outside the Muslim Welfare House in Seven Sisters Road.

Mr Khan said: "According to eyewitness accounts and videos taken after the incident, it appears that a white man in a van intentionally ploughed into a group of worshippers who were already tending to someone who had been taken ill.

"We do not know how many were injured or killed, but our prayers are with the victims and families.

Today Vice President of Bradford Council for Mosques  Rafiq Sehgal condemned what had happened.

He said: "Bradford Council for Mosques totally condemns the vile, terrorist attack on innocent worshippers.

"We welcome the incident being treated as an act of terror and we also welcome the Prime Minister calling a Cobra committee meeting which indicates the government is taking this terrorist act seriously.

"We will be talking more to local police and the local authority to ensure that Islamic places of faith are protected.

"We call upon people to exercise restraint and calm and people of all faiths and non-faiths to stand together united against any form of extremisim and acts of terror."

Mr Khan from the Muslim Council for Britain added about the London incident: "During the night, ordinary British citizens were set upon while they were going about their lives, completing their night worship. It appears from eyewitness accounts that the perpetrator was motivated by Islamophobia.

"Over the past weeks and months, Muslims have endured many incidents of Islamophobia and this is the most violent manifestation to date.

"Given we are approaching the end of the month of Ramadan and the celebration of Eid with many Muslims going to local mosques, we expect the authorities to increase security outside mosques as a matter of urgency.

"Muslim communities have been calling for increased action to tackle the growth in hate crime for many years and transformative action must now be taken to tackle not only this incident but the hugely worrying growth in Islamophobia.

Many will feel terrorised, no doubt be angry and saddened by what has taken place tonight.

"We urge calm as the investigation establishes the full facts, and in these last days of Ramadan, pray for those affected and for justice."

Mohammed Shafiq of the Ramadhan Foundation, a Muslim organisation which speaks out against extremism, said: "I utterly condemn the senseless and evil van attack against Muslim worshippers outside the Finsbury Park Mosque in London.

"According to eyewitnesses this was a deliberate attack against innocent Muslims going about their life.

"We should make clear that if this attack is confirmed as a deliberate terrorist attack then this should be classed as an act of terrorism.

"The British Muslim community requires all decent people to stand with us against this evil violence.

"Rampant Islamaphobia has been on the rise for a number of years and those on the far right have perpetuated hatred against Muslims.

"They should be called out for their hatred.

"The days ahead will be difficult, but with unity and tolerance we will prevail. We will not allow these far right extremists to divide our diverse communities.

"Enough is enough, my condolences and prayers for all the victims and their families. They are in my prayers."

Labour leader and local Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn expressed his shock at what had happened, writing on Twitter: "I'm totally shocked at the incident at Finsbury Park tonight.

"I've been in touch with the mosques, police and Islington council regarding the incident. My thoughts are with those and the community affected by this awful event."

Meanwhile, chairman of the mosque at Finsbury Park, Mohammed Kozbar, tweeted: "Our thoughts and prayers with those who got injured and effected by this cowardly attack in Finsbury Park area, many casualties in the floor."

The widower of murdered MP Jo Cox spoke out on Twitter as news of the attack broke, saying that the far right and Islamist terrorists shared an ideology and both must be defeated.

Brendan Cox tweeted: "Far right facists&Islamist terrorists are driven by same hatred of difference, same ideology of supremacy&use same tactics.We'll defeat both.

"When islamist terrorists attack we rightly seek out hate preachers who spur them on. We must do the same to those who peddle Islamophobia".

Mother-of-two Mrs Cox, who represented the Batley and Spen conctituency in West Yorkshire, was shot and stabbed as she arrived for a constituency surgery in Birstall on June 16 last year.

Right-wing loner Thomas Mair was given a whole life term at the Old Bailey in November after being convicted of her murder.

The attack happened after a weekend of events as part of The Great Get Together, which saw communities across the country get together to mark the anniversary of the Labour MP's murder with positivity.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan urged people to "remain calm and vigilant".

He said: "We don't yet know the full details, but this was clearly a deliberate attack on innocent Londoners, many of whom were finishing prayers during the holy month of Ramadan.

"While this appears to be an attack on a particular community, like the terrible attacks in Manchester, Westminster and London Bridge it is also an assault on all our shared values of tolerance, freedom and respect.

"The situation is still unfolding and I urge all Londoners to remain calm and vigilant. Please report anything suspicious to the police, but only call 999 in an emergency.

"The Met have deployed extra police to reassure communities, especially those observing Ramadan."

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: "My thoughts are with all those affected by the appalling incident at Finsbury Park.

"I am in contact with the Metropolitan Police who have confirmed it is being investigated by their Counter Terrorism Command.

"We must all continue to stand together, resolute, against all those who try to divide us and spread hate and fear."

Labour's shadow home secretary Diane Abbott, whose Hackney North and Stoke Newington constituency lies close to the scene, called for police to review security at mosques.

She tweeted: "Terror attack outside #FinsburyPark mosque. Police must urgently review security for all mosques #StandTogether."

Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas said her thoughts were with the community and emergency services, adding: "We will not be divided."

Muhbeen Hussain, founder of British Muslim Youth, said: "We strongly condemn this horrendous suspected terrorist attack and pray for the innocent victims and their families that have been affected by this incident.

"I have personally visited the scene of the attack and spoke to many eyewitnesses, many of whom were quite emotional after witnessing a murder and seeing many people being injured.

"There were also high emotions as many witnesses saw this as a deliberate attack on Muslims.

"Other reports even suggest that the individual that has now been arrested for the incident was taken under citizen arrest by many of the Muslim worshippers at the scene and handed over to the police.

"I have also heard that this individual was shouting, 'I want to kill all Muslims'.

"In less than a month, we have witnessed horrific attacks in Manchester, London Bridge, Borough Markets, a tragedy at Grenfell Tower and now this horrific attack.

"We as communities stood united in all of these difficult times and we must come together once more.

"I also urge anyone that has further information to speak to the police, so they have as much information as possible to deal with the on-going investigation."

Rabbi Herschel Gluck, president of Shomrim, a Jewish neighbourhood watch group, was at the police cordon to show "solidarity" with the community.

He said: "We have very good community relations here.

"(My reaction was) deep shock and deep concern about the ramifications of this terrorist atrocity.

"On one hand, I feel the people deeply appreciate our presence here and feel reassured that we are here with them, but on the other hand a lot of anger and frustration that members of their community have been attacked."

Fiyaz Mughal, the founder of Tell Mama, which works on tackling anti-Muslim hatred, said there had been an increase in anti-Muslim sentiment in recent weeks.

He said: "The way it works is pretty much there are very large spikes or spikes, we call them measurable spikes, after major terrorist incidences, so Islamist extremist incidences create the largest spikes we see.

"We saw that very clearly after Manchester, a very high peak, we saw that clearly after London Bridge, we didn't see it after Westminster.

"So the answer to that is yes, these peaks of anti-Muslim hate incidences reported in do go up in very high numbers after terrorist incidences."

The chief constable of Greater Manchester Police has tweeted his sympathy for the community caught up in the Finsbury Park attack.

Ian Hopkins wrote: "#finsburyattack such awful news. The victims & their families are very much in my thoughts and prayers."

It was less than a month ago that terrorist Salman Abedi detonated a suicide bomb killing 22 people, including children, after an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena.

French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted: "Thoughts for London and victims after this new ordeal."

London Mayor Mr Khan later told a radio station: "Terrorism is terrorism, whether it's Islamist-inspired or inspired by others.

"London has been through an extremely difficult time, it's been a tough few weeks, but I'm so confident that we're going to come through this, we'll be strong, we'll stay strong and we won't allow these people to divide us."

Mr Khan also warned about indoctrination of extremists on the internet.

In a statement posted on its website, the Finsbury Park Mosque said it "condemns in the strongest terms a heinous terrorist attack".

"The van driver deliberately mowed down Muslim men and women leaving late evening prayers from Finsbury Park Mosque and Muslim Welfare House just after midnight," the statement said.

"This is a callous terrorist attack, which coincides with the murdered MP, Jo Cox, anniversary."

The mosque's chairman, Mohammed Kozbar, described the incident as "a cowardly attack which is no different than the attacks in Manchester and London".

"Our community is in shock, our thought and prayer with those who have been affected by this," he said.

The statement added: "Finally, our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.

"We urge all attending mosques and going about their business to remain vigilant in this difficult time."