Three people were injured early this morning after a driver ploughed into pedestrians outside a mosque before speeding off.
Passengers are claimed to have hurled anti-Muslim taunts before speeding off outside the Al-Majlis Al-Hussaini mosque in Cricklewood, North West London.
Three people - including two men in their 20s and a man in his 50s - were taken to hospital but their injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.
The Hussaini Association, which had organised a lecture there, said the victims 'were indiscriminately mown down in a suspected premeditated Islamophobic attack'.
Police said three men and a woman all in their mid-20s were earlier seen in a private car park 'behaving anti-socially, drinking and allegedly using drugs'.
They were asked by security at the mosque to leave, but the occupants were 'involved in a confrontation with a large group of people visiting the centre'.
Police said comments 'of an Islamophobic nature' were allegedly made by those in the car, before it was damaged by some of the people outside the centre.
But the car is then said to have sped off, colliding with three individuals as it left.
Police are keeping an 'open mind' about what caused the collision at about 12.30am today, but officers are not treating the incident as terror-related.
A Hussaini Association spokesman said: 'Patrons attending the annual Al Hussaini Majlis in Cricklewood were indiscriminately mown down in a suspected premeditated Islamophobic attack last night.
'Eyewitnesses saw a red Nissan Juke hurtling down Oxgate Lane just as the evening programme finished, mounting the pavement and hitting innocent members of the community who were heading home at around midnight.'
They added: 'Fortunately a number of volunteers bravely stood between the speeding vehicle and patrons heading home.
'These acts of bravery potentially saved the lives of dozens of innocent people from being taken.'
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: 'Police have established that at approximately 00.20am security at the community centre were informed of occupants in a car behaving anti-socially, drinking and allegedly using drugs.
'The occupants of the car - three males and a woman all aged in their mid-20s - were asked to leave the private car park.
'The car then drove near the centre and the occupants were involved in a confrontation with a large group of people visiting the centre.
'Words were exchanged and comments of an Islamophobic nature were allegedly made by the group in the car.
'The car then reportedly sustained minor damage by some of those outside the centre. It proceeded to make off at speed colliding with three individuals as it left.
'The car and its occupants who failed to stop and injured three people are being sought by police. No arrests have been made.'
Detective Superintendent Kelly Schonhage said: 'We are treating this incident very seriously and a number of enquiries are underway to trace the car and those involved.
'Enquiries into the full circumstances of the collision are ongoing. If you were there at the time and have information I would urge you to contact police with information.
'Extra neighbourhood police patrols have been stepped up in the area and officers will be on hand to speak with those in the local community.'
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.