Muslim communities ‘nonetheless reeling’ from lethal assault on a Muslim household in London, Ontario final 12 months, advocate says.
Montreal, Canada – Muslim group leaders in Canada are renewing their calls to deal with Islamophobia as they commemorate the one-year anniversary of a lethal assault on a Muslim household that authorities say was motivated by hate.
Over 150 delegates are assembly with parliament members within the capital, Ottawa, on Monday to demand concrete motion to handle Islamophobia and hate crimes, stated Fatema Abdalla, spokesperson for the Nationwide Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) advocacy group.
A stroll towards Islamophobia can even be held on Monday night, NCCM stated in a press release.
“Muslim communities are nonetheless reeling from this incident,” Abdalla informed Al Jazeera in a telephone interview concerning the lethal assault in London, Ontario, on June 6 final 12 months.
“This brutal assault has without end altered the connection that Muslim group have with Canada. Muslims are afraid to stroll throughout the road; they’re afraid of congregating at masjids [mosques] with out having to look over their shoulder.”
Salman Afzaal, 46, his 44-year-old spouse Madiha Salman, their 15-year-old daughter Yumna and her 74-year-old grandmother, Talat Afzaal, had been killed when a driver ran them over with a pick-up truck whereas they had been out for a stroll. The couple’s nine-year-old son, Fayez, was severely injured.
The police chief stated on the time that the victims had been “focused due to their Islamic religion”.
At present, we keep in mind.
We commeorate the reminiscence of #OurLondonFamily.
Greater than a thousand folks of fine will collect immediately as a united group towards Islamophobia and racism.
We’re right here to do not forget that phrases should not sufficient. pic.twitter.com/3rSRbx0AeC
— NCCM (@nccm) June 5, 2022
The assault renewed sorrow and trauma for Muslim group members throughout Canada, lots of whom had been nonetheless reeling within the aftermath of a lethal 2017 assault on a Quebec mosque that left six worshippers lifeless, and a deadly stabbing at one other mosque in Toronto in 2020.
For years, Muslim group leaders have referred to as on authorities to deal with racism, hate-motivated violence, and the prevalence of far-right teams in Canada.
Researchers in 2020 discovered that the variety of hate teams working within the nation had tripled lately, with anti-Muslim rhetoric one of many “most salient” matters amongst right-wing extremists on-line.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has vowed to deal with the issue, holding a nationwide summit on Islamophobia in July of final 12 months.
On Sunday, Trudeau and different authorities officers attended a march in London to recollect the Afzaal household and stand united towards hate.
“This afternoon in London, 1000’s of individuals confirmed as much as honour the Afzaal household; to be there for Fayez, who survived; and to march towards Islamophobia. In reminiscence of #OurLondonFamily, we should maintain working collectively and utilizing each software now we have to fight this hatred,” Trudeau wrote on Twitter.
Final 12 months, NCCM put ahead a listing of 61 suggestions to deal with Islamophobia in any respect ranges of presidency, together with by means of the event of a federal anti-Islamophobia technique and the supply of funds to assist assist victims of hate-motivated crimes.
The group additionally urged Canadian provinces to make sure their anti-racism directorates are properly resourced and referred to as on municipalities to fund community-based efforts to handle the issue.
Abdalla at NCCM stated that whereas some optimistic steps have been taken over the past 12 months – together with the reintroduction of laws that might permit for civilian oversight of the Canada Border Companies Company (CBSA) – extra motion is required.
“We do imagine that it begins from the highest. We have to see change and we have to see it now, and one of many key methods we are able to do that’s by informing our Canadian society concerning the precise hurt Islamophobia has,” she informed Al Jazeera.
In the meantime, the London assault suspect, Nathaniel Veltman, faces 4 counts of first-degree homicide, one rely of tried homicide and terrorism expenses. His trial is about to start in September 2023, Canadian media shops have reported.