World condemns deadly car-ramming on Canadian Muslim family

World denounces killing of Canadian Muslim family in Islamophobic car-ramming attack
2 min read
09 June, 2021
The attack, which killed four members of a Canadian Muslim family, has been described as a 'hate crime' and a 'terrorist attack'.
The attack has drawn global condemnation and grief [Getty]

A "premeditated" car-ramming attack which killed four members of one Muslim family in Canada has drawn global condemnation and outrage.

Victims Salman Afzal, 46; his wife Madiha, 44; their daughter Yumna, 15, and a 74-year-old grandmother whose name was withheld were killed in the attack, leaving lone survivor nine-year-old Fayez.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the attack as “Islamophobic” and expressed his support for the family and the Muslim community at large.

"I'm horrified by the news from London, Ontario," he tweeted shortly after the news broke.

"To the loved ones of those who were terrorised by yesterday's act of hatred, we are here for you. We are also here for the child who remains in hospital - our hearts go out to you, and you will be in our thoughts as you recover.

"To the Muslim community in London and to Muslims across the country, know that we stand with you. Islamophobia has no place in any of our communities. This hate is insidious and despicable - and it must stop."

"This was a terrorist attack," Trudeau concluded.

Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres called it a “targeted and heinous attack on a Muslim family”.

Sunday’s attack, said Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, reveals the growing Islamophobia in Western countries.

Somali-American congresswoman Ilhan Omar said: “Who can fathom this kind of hate? My heart breaks for the Afzaal family. This is a cruel reminder that anti-Muslim hate is deadly and alive in the West. We must all speak out against it. And prosecute these violent hate crimes against Muslims vigorously.”

Online, social media users used the hashtags #Canada and #MuslimLivesMatter to condemn the attack and express concern over rising anti-Muslim sentiment.  

The Canadian Forces began sharing Muslim recruits who fought and died for the country in an effort to demonstrate that Muslims are welcome.

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London has some 400,000 residents and a large Muslim community, and Arabic is the second-most spoken language after English in the city.

A 20-year-old suspect wearing a vest "like body armour" fled the scene and was arrested at a mall seven kilometres (four miles) from the intersection in London, Ontario where it happened. 

Suspect Nathaniel Veltman has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.