Premier Doug Ford and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be among the dignitaries attending a vigil in London on Tuesday night for four members of a Muslim family that were mowed down by a pickup truck that police said was a targeted attack.
“This is nothing short of a terrorist attack on innocent people based on their faith and their religion and there is no place for that in Ontario,” Ford told reporters at Queen’s Park on Tuesday morning. “We are a community that sticks together and we will be united behind the Muslim community.”
The family was out for a walk Sunday evening when a pickup truck mounted the curb and plowed into them. Four family members between the ages of 15 and 74 were killed, and a fifth member of the family, a nine-year-old boy was seriously injured.
The government is lifting a restriction on pandemic-related gatherings as a one-time gesture so “people can gather and grieve with the family and with members of the Muslim community,” said Ford. The vigil will be held at a mosque that the family attended.
In the House of Commons on Tuesday, Prime Minister Trudeau described what happened in London as “a terrorist attack, motivated by hatred.”
A 20-year-old London man has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.
Politicians from across Canada have condemned the attack.
Hate and Islamophobia have NO place in Ontario. Justice must be served for the horrific act of hatred that took place in London, Ontario yesterday.— Doug Ford (@fordnation) June 7, 2021
My thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends during this difficult time. These heinous acts of violence must stop.
Pakistan’s prime minister said the London attack was as sign of growing Islamophobia in Western countries.
Saddened to learn of the killing of a Muslim Pakistani-origin Canadian family in London, Ontario. This condemnable act of terrorism reveals the growing Islamophobia in Western countries. Islamophonia needs to be countered holistically by the international community.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) June 8, 2021
Even though police have not released the names of the victims, a statement was released by the family late Monday that identifies them as 46-year-old Salman Afzaal, his 44-year-old wife Madiha Salman, their 15-year-old daughter Yumna Salman and Afzaal’s 74-year-old mother.