“A brutal and horrific act. We as humans condemn it and stand against hate. Love is the most precious ingredient for peace on this earth. Islam is a doctrine with respect, tolerance, justice, and equality. It has a basic set of rules that protects the rights and freedom of individuals and communities. The Quran says, if anyone killed a person – it would be as if he killed humanity, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved humanity. There is an innate need to raise awareness about human values in our homes and communities.” — Nasira Aziz, SCWIST Director for Leadership & Co-Director, IWIS
“We as humans and as Muslims promote peace, love and acceptance. That’s a part of our core Islamic teachings. I can’t agree more that each one of us needs to raise awareness about biases and hatred against skin color, religion and humanity within our homes, families and communities. We also condemn the media, movies and all the shows that portray Muslims as terrorists and women with hijab as uncultured and oppressed. I believe that is one of the root causes of such hatred. Let’s promote positivity, love and acceptance for everyone in our communities as much as possible!” — Naima Munir, SCWIST Director for Youth Engagement & Co-Director, IWIS
On June 6th, four people were killed and a young boy was seriously injured when they were intentionally struck by a car in an act of hatred and Islamophobia in London, Ontario. Three generations are among the dead: Salman Afzal, 46; his wife Madiha, 44; their daughter Yumna, 15; and Salman’s mother, Talat, 74. Fayez, 9, remains in the hospital in serious condition. Salman was a physiotherapist and cricket enthusiast. Madiha was working on a PhD in civil engineering at Western University in London. Yumna was finishing ninth grade, and Salman’s mother was described as a pillar of the family. Yet with one cowardly and heartless act, these four lives are lost and a young boy must grow up without his family.
We share the grief and condole with Fayez, the Pakistani-Canadian community, and Muslim communities affected. We empathize with all those who have experienced and continue to experience hate and threats of violence due to racism.
We condemn this attack, as well as the historic and systematic racism, prejudice and discrimination that brought it about.
Canada’s history is a history of violence, hatred and intolerance. Islamophobia, anti-Black racism, anti-Indigenous racism and colonialism are deeply entrenched in Canada’s policies, culture, and government.
We must take action to combat these archaic systems. It is time to move past performative gestures and take real action against issues of hate, violence and discrimination.
We must stop normalizing anti-Muslim hate in in the news and media. We must confront prejudice against Muslim women who wear hijabs. We must make change through how we choose to speak up, how we act, and how we vote. We must stop discrimination rooted in religion, appearance, gender equality and migration.
Women from across the world are being recognized more than ever before for their achievements and contributions. Madiha Afzal was never given her chance to show how far she could fly.
Take part in reshaping Canada’s future, where no one needs to live in fear because of their faith or identity.
Here are a few resources to get started:
- Canadian Muslim Women 1837-2007
- Women in Niqab Speak: A Study of the Niqab in Canada
- Canadian Council of Muslim Women
- The Digital Anti-Racism Education (D.A.R.E.)
- Islam Unravelled Anti-Racism Initiative
- Islamophobia Legal Assistance Hotline | 604-343-3828
- Report a Hate Crime
Contribute to the Salman Family Sadaqa Jariya Fund: https://www.gofundme.com/f/salman-family-accident-relief
In sorrow and solidarity,