In the largest and deadliest mass killing in London’s history, a Muslim family was targeted in a violent, brutal and premeditated truck attack on Sunday. This resulted in the killing of 4 members of the family, leaving only their 9-year-old child in Intensive Care as the only survivor. This act of racism, Islamophobia and white supremacy have shocked many in our and other communities. And while we mourn for those lost and grieve alongside all our colleagues, friends, allies, and community members affected, we also recognize the ongoing issues of white supremacy, Islamophobia, and racism that continue to permeate across Turtle Island and across the globe. One only needs to take a cursory glance at the National Council of Canadian Muslims’ Hate Crime Map to see the extent of reported crimes over the years.
The Afzaal family – who have only recently approved the release of the names of those who were killed – lost three generations, a grandparent, the parents of two children, and their high school aged daughter. As the Ontario Federation of Labour President Patty Coates stated in a release by the Federation, ” This act of hate is tragic and horrific. No one should fear going for a walk, or worshipping, or taking public transit because of their faith,””
WLUFA fully endorses this sentiment. We further commit ourselves to engaging in action to challenge racism, Islamophobia and Anti-Muslim racism in our community. We have provided actions and resources below for those grieving and those who wish to take action. We echo the National Council of Canadian Muslim’s call for a National Action Summit on Islamophobia. As of publication the petition has secured approximately 30,000 signatures.
Further, we call upon Laurier to work with Muslim faculty, staff, students, and community to ensure they are protected and to introduce and intensify efforts to combat Islamophobia on campus. Oppression, prejudice and discrimination have no place on our campus, or in our communities.
Actions and Resources:
You can also watch the entirety of the Vigil in London, attended by thousands, to bear witness to the harm that was caused as well as the community efforts to come together, at the London Muslim Mosque Facebook Page
The Muslim Chaplaincy will be hosting drop in sessions on June 9th and 10th at noon:
The National Council of Canadian Muslims’ Petition on a National Action Summit
In the context of the present tragedy, WLUFA urges the University to consider the following calls put forward by a number of our colleagues:
- Include Islamophobia and anti-Muslim racism in the EDI Action Plan along with all other prohibited grounds of discrimination outlined under the Ontario Human Rights Code.
- Provide training for Laurier staff on Islamophobia and anti-Muslim racism.