A minute of silence was observed Tuesday, June 8 in the House of Commons in Ottawa, in tribute to the victims of the anti-Muslim attack on Sunday evening in London, a city in southern Ontario. Three generations of the Afzaal family, of Pakistani origin, a couple in their forties, their 15-year-old daughter and her 74-year-old grandmother died after being intentionally hit by a pick-up. Their 9-year-old boy, seriously injured, is still hospitalized.
“This murder was not an accident. It was a terrorist attack, motivated by hatred, in the heart of one of our communities ”, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in Parliament. Recalling the previous anti-Muslim acts committed in Canada in recent years, including the attack at the Grand Mosque in Quebec in 2017 which killed six people or the knife attack in front of the Toronto mosque in 2020, the head of the Liberal government said that this “Cowardly and Islamophobic attack was not an isolated case”.
He called on Canadians to mobilize against this scourge of racism and himself promised to adopt new measures against extremist groups, as he has already undertaken to do, he stressed, registering in January the Proud Boys – a tiny group of white supremacists founded in Ottawa – on Canada’s list of “terrorist organizations”. A bill aimed at combating hatred on the Internet has been promised by the Trudeau government for several weeks, but has still not been tabled.
“This is Canada”
The parliamentary opposition unanimously condemned this Islamophobic attack. But the leader of the New Democratic Party (left) wanted to respond to the Prime Minister who had just said that “The perpetrator of this attack did not represent the Canadians.” ” I like this country, launched Jagmeet Singh, himself of Sikh faith and the first leader from racialized communities to lead a national political party, but the reality is, this is Canada. Our Canada is where 215 Indigenous children were found in a mass grave [des ossements d’enfants ont été découverts le 28 mai à Kamloops en Colombie-Britannique sur les lieux d’un ancien pensionnat autochtone]. Our Canada is a place where you can be killed for wearing a hijab on the street. ” A country, he concluded, which has perpetrated genocide, and which today must face racism and violence, particularly directed against Muslims.
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