— Internet News

Justin Trudeau denounces ‘terrorist’ killing of Muslim family run down during Sunday evening walk

On Tuesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau denounced the killing of four Muslim family members, run down by the driver of a pick-up truck, as a hate-driven “terrorist attack” and urged the nation to stand up against intolerance. The victims – a husband and wife, their teenage daughter, and the child’s grandmother – were killed Sunday when the truck mounted a curb and struck them in London, in Canada’s central Ontario province. The couple’s nine-year-old son, orphaned in what police said was a planned attack targeting a Muslim family, was recovering from serious injuries.

“This killing was no accident. This was a terrorist attack, motivated by hatred, in the heart of one of our communities,” Mr. Trudeau said during an impassioned speech at the House of Commons.

The Canadian leader later addressed an outdoor vigil of thousands at the family’s mosque, speaking directly to the country’s Muslim community.

“You are not alone. All Canadians mourn with you and stand with you tonight,” he said at the vigil attended by all of the country’s political leaders. He said Canada was “not immune” to the rising discrimination and division witnessed elsewhere in the world in recent years.

Together, we can counter this darkness and this intolerance,” he said.

A woman places flowers at the scene of the alleged attack in London, Ontario, on Tuesday, 8 June 2021.

The Canadian Press via AAP

Bilal Rahhal, chair of the London Muslim Mosque, told the crowd: “This is our city”. “Never allow anyone to make you think otherwise because of the color of your skin, your faith, or where you were born,” he said.

This is our city, and we’re not going anywhere.

Canadians urged to stand against hatred.

The victims of Sunday’s attack have been identified as Madiha Salman, age 44, who had done post-graduate work in civil and environmental engineering; her husband, Salman Afzaal, age 46; their 15-year-old daughter, Yumna Salman; and a woman reported to be Mr. Afzaal’s 74-year-old mother, who was not named.

The victims, who were of Pakistani origin, were part of a “model family… always there giving and participating in spreading goodness,” said a statement issued by their relatives.

Following Sunday’s “brutal and horrific attack,” the statement added, it was time for all Canadians, from the government on down, to “take a strong stand” against hatred, Islamophobia, and intolerance.

Muslim community members gathered to pray on Oxford Street on 8 June in London, Canada, following the earlier vigil. Canada’s long reputation for tolerance has been bruised in recent years amid a series of hate and race-based crimes, starting with a 2017 shooting at a Quebec City mosque that claimed six lives.

The latest attack also came at a sensitive time for the authorities. The country’s Muslim population, just three percent of the total, has been left feeling increasingly vulnerable. Several Muslim organizations have demanded action to curb far-right extremist groups.

On the heels of the shocking discovery of the remains of 215 Indigenous children on the grounds of a Catholic school in British Columbia, they had been forced to attend as part of a since-ended national effort at assimilation. The suspect, identified as 20-year-old Nathaniel Veltman, was arrested at a mall seven kilometers away from the site of Sunday’s attack, said Detective Superintendent Paul Waight.

Molly Aronson

I'm an award-winning blogger who enjoys all things creative but is especially passionate about lifestyle design. I blog over at mehlogy.com I love that I get to share my passion for healthy living, fashion, fitness, and travel with readers from all over the world.

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