Hundreds of Muslims from across Tower Hamlets and beyond were leaving the East London Mosque after evening prayers when violent mobs struck the area at around 10pm.
While women and children were ushered back into the mosque, a hardcore of worshippers confronted the gangs as they attacked shops and buildings on Whitechapel Road.
A ten-minute standoff ensued, with rioters attempting to mingle in the with the crowds in a bid to hide themselves as riot police closed in on the area.
Salman Farsi, the mosque’s communication chief who was witnessed the scenes, said: “Worshippers chased them away. There was a lot of shouting. A missile was hurled towardsdirection of mosque and the atmosphere was very tense.
“I don’t think any member of our community is going to stand for vandalism. W