Vigil for the Ontario Muslim family killed in a ‘targeted hate crime’ grows at Victoria mosque

Vigil for the Ontario Muslim family killed in a 'targeted hate crime' grows at Victoria mosque
WatchIt's time to stand up against Islamophobia, say community leaders, after the targeted tragic killing of an Ontario Muslim family.

In London, Ont., a growing number of flowers are being left at the scene of a gruesome car crash.

One, that was no accident.

“This was a terrorist attack, motivated by hatred, in the heart of one of our communities,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

A family of five were out Sunday for an evening walk, when police say, a man driving a pickup truck intentionally drove into them.

The victims targeted, for being Muslim.

“Our Canada is a place where you can’t walk down the streets if you wear a hijab because you will be killed. This is our Canada. You can’t deny it,” said Jagmeet Singh,

Salman Afzaal, his wife Madiha Salman, their 15-year-old daughter Yumna Salman and Afzaal’s 74-year-old mother, were all killed. The couple’s nine-year-old son Fayez, seriously injured and orphaned, but expected to survive.

Twenty-year-old Nathaniel Veltman has been arrested and charged with four counts of murder, one attempted murder in the hate-motivated attack.

In victoria, a collection of flowers from strangers is also growing.

“I think it’s important to show people that they are not alone. I believe most Canadians are outraged at what’s happened,” said one woman bringing flowers to the Masjid Al-Iman mosque in Victoria.

“I feel utter sadness that three generations with family were just wiped out by a crime so vicious. It’s unbelievable and I’m filled with deep sorrow, that it’s happened. That it’s happening everywhere,” said another lady paying her respects.

It’s not the first violent, fatal attack against Muslims in Canada, but the incident has Muslim Canadians rethinking just how safe they actually are.

“We always felt that we are part of Canada. That we are welcome here. But to see this kind of tragic event, it’s made us ask ourselves so many questions about whether we are seen by some as part of Canada, really,” said Abdrahamane Traore, Masjid Al-Iman Victoria’s education director.

And while Traore is deeply thankful for the outpouring of support, community members want to send a strong message to stamp out Islamophobia.

“This is the time for Canadians, collectively, to stand against Islamophobia,” said Victoria city councillor Shamarke Dubow.

Back in Ontario, there is mourning for a family, three generations, wiped out by hate.

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Kori SidawayKori Sidaway

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