At FEMYSO, our hearts go out to the loved ones of the victims and wider Canadian Muslim community following the Islamophobic attack in London, Ontario on Sunday evening. We are appalled and deeply saddened that this murderous hit and run took the life of four family members and left the youngest member of nine years old an orphan.
This was a targeted terrorist attack on a Muslim family because they visibly looked Muslim. Based on police reports, the fact that the suspect does not have a criminal record nor belongs to a hate group, shows the deadly and radicalising nature of Islamophobia. It also shows the even greater need to tackle the institutional and systemic manifestation of Islamophobia, particularly in media where defamatory and unrepresentative narratives around Muslims and Islam are disseminated. Studies have shown that such dehumanising narratives can lead to attacks on entire communities, as seen in London, Ontario and Christchurch, New Zealand.
As the far right continue their march unchecked on our shores and abroad, spreading hate and radicalising ordinary citizens, Muslim communities across the world constantly live in fear of terrorist attacks like that of Sunday in Canada. This is the real-life impact of the societal disease that is Islamophobia when it is not appropriately addressed by those who hold leadership positions.
We demand not only justice for victims in Canada but demand that the European Commission, European Parliament and all European states take concrete measures to combat Islamophobia in all its manifestations.
We ask the most High to accept the victims and provide them with His utmost mercy. May their loved ones find peace during this incredibly difficult time. إِنَّا لِلَّٰهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ Verily we belong to Allah and to Him return.
- FEMYSO (est. 1996) is a network organisation for 33 Muslim youth and student organisations across 20 European countries, and is the leading voice for European Muslim youth, developing and empowering them, and working to build a more diverse, cohesive and vibrant Europe.
- Reuters, 8 June 2021 “Man suspected of killing Canadian Muslim family was motivated by hate – police” https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/four-killed-by-car-were-victims-anti-islamic-hate-crime-canada-police-2021-06-07/.
- BBC, 8 June 2021. “Muslim family in Canada killed in ‘premeditated’ truck attack” https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-57390398.
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