Canadian family killed of Muslims hate: Kin urge people to stand firm against Islamophobiatext_fields
Relatives of the Canadian Muslim family killed on Sunday when a man rammed them with his pick-up truck in what police described as a hate attack is urging the wider community to stand up to racism and Islamophobia, The Guardian reported.
In a statement issued late on Monday, relatives of the victims disputed an initial police appraisal that the accused man was not a member of any hate group and had no accomplices.
The relatives claimed that the young man who committed this act of terror was influenced by a group that he associated with, and urged the rest of the community to take a strong stand against this.
However, they did not identify the group or explain how they know about the alleged ties.
They also stressed the importance of standing against the destruction of a family brutally and horrifically of this stature. They also called to raise awareness in our communities and throughout the political spectrum.
The victims whom the relatives described as a 'model family' died after Nathaniel Veltman, a 20-year-old man rammed his pickup truck at them.
The relatives of the victims said the children had both been top students and their parents excelled in their fields.
Salman Afzaal, 46, his wife Madiha, 44, their 15-year-old daughter Yumna, and the children's 74-year-old grandmother was the victims.
Their nine-year-old son Fayez and also the lone survivor of the attack is in hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
The statement included kind words about the Afzaal family and how they were always there giving and participating in spreading goodness.
They worked extremely hard in their fields and excelled," the statement reads.
According to reports, Afzaal was a physiotherapist and active member of the community in London, Ontario, often seen at local cricket matches or the mosque. His wife, Madiha, was working on her PhD in civil engineering at Western University.
The neighbours of the victims have set up a makeshift memorial with flowers, stuffed animals and messages calling for the end to hate and Islamophobia. A socially distanced vigil was also held on Tuesday evening outside the London Muslim mosque.
Flags in London – a city of 400,000 with 20-40,000 Muslim residents – have been lowered for three days. A march is also planned for Friday
Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada observed a minute of silence for the family in the Parliament spoke about how any form of such hate cannot be allowed to take root as the consequences can be far too serious.
The suspect, Nathaniel Veltman, has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.
The attack was an extreme example of the violence Muslims in Canada have suffered in recent years.