Canada: Relatives of the four Canadian Muslims were killed in what police describe as “a hate attack” have described them as a “model family” and called on the country to stand against hate and Islamophobia.
Salman Afzaal, 46, his wife Madiha, 44, their 15-year-old daughter Yumna, and the children’s 74-year-old grandmother died after the attack. Their nine-year-old son Fayez, the lone survivor of the attack, remains in hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
Afzaal was a physiotherapist and active member of the community in London, Ontario, often seen at local cricket matches or at the mosque. His wife, Madiha, was working on her PhD in civil engineering at Western University.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the killing of four members of a Muslim family mowed down by a pickup truck “a terrorist attack.”
“Their lives were taken in a brutal, cowardly, and brazen act of violence,” the Prime Minister said before the House of Commons. “This killing was no accident. This was a terrorist attack motivated by hatred in the heart of one in our community.”
While Canadians may be shocked and blindsided by this mass murder, the ingredients for this tragedy have long been in the making. The warning signs of white nationalist violence have been glaring.
Leaders and members of the international community are speaking out against Islamophobia and condemning a targeted attack.