Thousands attended a vigil in London for the four members of a Muslim family that were run down and killed as they walked together along a trail.
Salman Afzaal, 46, his wife Madiha Salman, 44, their 15-year-old daughter Yumna Afzaal and Salman Afzaal’s 74-year-old mother — were killed when a black truck rammed into them as they were walking. The youngest member of the family, Fayez, 9, survived.
There were two hours of speeches with many calls for personal and political action to address racism, hatred, and Islamophobia. One speaker noted we need to do this together, collectively.
The event drew people from many communities, including non-Muslims. Some held up signs that read: “We stand with our London family” and “Diversity is our strength.”
A 20-year-old has been charged with four counts of murder and one of attempted murder. London Police are considering the laying of terrorism charges.
However, while Prime Minister Trudeau has called the killings a terrorist attack, University of Calgary law professor Michael Nesbitt has told CBC News it’s not always easy, under Canadian law, to gather the evidence needed to prosecute. Among other things, there must be evidence the act was committed for a political, religious, or ideological purpose, objective or cause, and evidence the act was committed with the intention of intimidating the public or a segment of the population. In many cases, that evidence has been destroyed or is difficult to decrypt.