Muslims in Newfoundland and Labrador have gathered to pay respect to the victims of a vicious assault in London, Ontario. The Muslim community is also concerned, fearing for their safety.
Enaya Abdelgaber, a worker at Memorial University in St. John’s, has talked to the press:
“Why? That’s the first thing that comes to my head — why would someone do that to a peaceful family? My heart goes out to that family.”
The Muslim family of five was out for a walk on Sunday when a pickup truck struck them. The only survivor of the attack is nine-year-old Fayez Afzaal. His parents, sister, and grandmother were all killed.
Mansoor Pirzada, the president of the Muslim Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, said that their community has been shaken to the core when they heard the news.
“Our community is devastated. They feel insecure,” Pirzada added.
He stated that Muslims in the area are aware of the increasing racism in the province. He talked to the public, saying:
“We do see this thing on the rise. This threat is real. Islamophobia is real. Just like anti-Semitism is real. And I don’t know what we are waiting for. We have been trying to tell the government they have to deal with the rise of Islamophobia in Canada.”
Politicians have reacted immediately, condemning the attack. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called this attack “an act of terrorism.”
Premier Andrew Furey tweeted,
“This should be impossible in Canada today.”
The Muslim community in Ontario is asking for action, believing that there could be no compromise with racists.