Police in the Canadian province of Ontario say a driver deliberately assaulted a family because they were Muslims, killing four people and seriously injuring a nine-year-old boy in what he described as “gross hatred” and Islamophobia.
The victims, all in the same family, were hit Sunday evening while waiting to cross a street in London, about 200km (124 miles) southwest of Toronto, Canadian reporters said Monday.
Police say the victims were identified as two women aged 77 and 44, a 46-year-old man and a 15-year-old girl. A nine-year-old boy was also critically injured and is recovering in hospital. Authorities did not name the victims.
“There is evidence that this was a preparation, a preparation for hatred. He believes the victims were persecuted because they were Muslims, ”Superintendent Paul Waight in London told a news conference, as reports and CityNews.
The attack came amid growing concerns about the beating of Muslims in Canadian governments and called on the authorities to address racism, xenophobia and sectarian violence.
I was shocked by a story from London, Ontario. To those loved ones who were terrified and hated yesterday, we are here for you. We are also here because of the baby left in the hospital – our hearts are listening to you, and you will be in our thoughts as you recover.
– Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) June 7, 2021
Canadian President Justin Trudeau said he was “shocked” by what he described as “hate”, and said his thoughts were with loved ones of the victims, including a young child who survived.
“For Muslims in London and for Muslims across the country, know that we have you. Islamophobia has no place in any of our communities. This hatred is deceptive and abominable – and it must stop,” Trudeau said.
A 20-year-old 20-year-old Nathaniel Veltman has been arrested, local police say. words early Monday. He has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder, reports Global News.
“There is no known link between the complainant and the victim,” Waight said.
‘Grief will come to an end’
Qazi Khalil, a friend of the couple, told The Canadian Press that she had seen them for the last time on Thursday. “This has completely destroyed me from the inside out,” Khalil said. “I can’t say he wasn’t here anymore.”
National Council of Canada Muslims, a national defense group, said they were “not afraid” of the catastrophic destruction.
“These are criminals who have invaded Canadian soil, and should be done so. We call on the government to prosecute the victim in accordance with the law, including terrorists,” the group’s chief of staff, Mustafa Farooq, said in a statement on Monday.
“Loss of marriage, loss of a child in our community due to Islamophobia – this is a grief that will last for a long time. But let sorrow be where we stand for justice, and for change. ”
Statistics Canada He said in March that police also reported that anti-Muslim crimes “rose slightly” to 181 in 2019 – last year confirmed. This is 166 incidents that took place last year.
In recent months, Muslim women in the Alberta region have been subjected to a series of brutal attacks and beatings.
In September, Mohamed-Aslim Zafis, 58, was killed outside a mosque west of Toronto where he worked as a security guard. This prompted the authorities to intimidate right-handed violence in-depth and investigative of these attacks as to be a catalyst for hatred.
Islamic groups in Canada are also complaining mass shooting for January 2017 at a mosque in Quebec City that killed six Muslim men and injured several others.
For three days she wept
London Mayor Ed Holder has ordered a flag outside the city hall to be lowered for three days. “Let me be clear: This was a mass murder, which was committed against Muslims – against London – and started out as a result of unspeakable hatred,” Holder said in a statement.
“This incredible hatred, Islamaphobia, [sic] it should be followed by compassion, doing good to others, compassion for others, unity – justice – and above all, love. ”
Ontario Premier Doug Ford also sent out his condolences on Monday. “Hate and Islamophobia have no place in Ontario. Justice must be done because of the horrific hatred that erupted in London, Ontario yesterday, ”he wrote.
BREAKING: National Council of Canada Muslims (NCCM) are fearless and demand justice after a dangerous anti-Muslim family car in London, Ontario went for a walk on Sunday evening. pic.twitter.com/o1wXqjpnRb
– NCCM (@nccm) June 7, 2021
Harjit Sajjan, Canada’s security minister, said he was “saddened to hear of four Canadian Muslims who had been killed in London, Ontario under the threat of Islamophobic violence”.
“Three generations of marriage have passed away in a moment. Widespread hatred is rampant in our country. We must come together to end any hatred. ”
Jagmeet Singh, leader of the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP), also opposed the move. “They were martyred for their faith,” Singh wrote on Twitter. “As never before, we must fight against Muslim families, friends and neighbors in the fight against this vicious hatred. ”