Islamophobia Claims the lives of a Muslim Family in Canada

Islamophobia is blamed for the killing of a Muslim family in London Ontario, Canada. A hate-motivated man overran a Muslim family and wiped them out, as they’re standing shoulder to shoulder awaiting a green light to cross a street. Four of the family members died at the science, and one (the only survivor) ended up in a hospital, where he’s recuperating. The carnage occurred on the 6th day of this month.

Afzal family
Tragic killing of Afzal family (photo by the Kashmir Monitor)

The killer used his truck as a weapon. He pressed on the gas and flung it on the entire family. What an awful action. Who’d expect such an appalling action from a person as young as that one? He’s only 20 years of age. Nevertheless, criminality doesn’t have a boundary or an age limit. 

The Muslim family didn’t know they’d end up in such a horrific situation. But what’s fated is fated. No soul knows how it’ll die, or where it’ll die; destiny is unknown. Only God knows what’ll happen. No predictions. No speculations. 

Stop Islamophobia
Islamophobia hurts

The family had dreams and aspirations. But everything was wiped out. 14 years ago, they immigrated to Canada from Pakistan to live in a peaceful and prosperous place, but the family’s expectations didn’t materialize as its members’ lives were cut short.   

This is the story of the Afzal family consisting of two parents, two children (a boy and girl), and a grandmother. The two parents, their daughter, and the grandmother are gone. They’re gone for good, and nobody can bring them back to life. Existence is fairly fragile. It’s just like that. The dead members have been identified as Salman Afzal, 46; his wife Madiha, 44; their daughter Yumna, 15; and a 74-year-old grandmother Talat Afzal. The hospitalized 9 years old boy is named Fayez; he survived the carnage. 

The killing wasn’t an accident; it was an intentional operation, evidence indicated. A detective who’d investigated the case said the attack was planned. The dreadful action has outraged Canadians and left Muslim Canadians scared. They’re fearful of brazen attacks because of their faith. 

But Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has calmed down the community by denouncing the killing and condemning anyone fueling Islamophobia. He called massacring the Muslim family an act of terrorism. “This was a terrorist attack, motivated by hatred, in the heart of one of our communities,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Parliament. “If anyone thinks racism and hatred don’t exist in this country, I want to say this: How do we explain such violence to a child in a hospital? How can we look families in the eye and say “Islamophobia isn’t real”?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau denounces Islamophobia

Islam is incorrectly depicted. Due to misinformation, many believe that Islam is a threat to their faith and way of life. So they’re afraid of Islam and its followers. That’s false, as Islam is a peaceful religion. It doesn’t impose its teachings on anyone or alter anybody’s way of life. On the contrary, it commands its adherents to be at peace with themselves and with the rest of society. For example, women with hijab aren’t necessarily adversaries to women with uncovered hair. It’s all about faith. If your faith tells you to cover your hair and be modesty in your life, then be so. If not, that’s also understandable. There is no compulsion in Islam. 

Canada is a diverse country that respects both unity and diversity. All Canadians are equal despite their varied faiths, cultures, and customs. Nonetheless, they’ve to pull in the same direction to live in peace and harmony. 

What occurred to the Afzal family is horrible and incomprehensible. Fayez, the surviving son, has been left without parents and siblings. Although alive, his life has been changed altogether. It’s unclear if he’ll ever overcome the trauma he’s sustained. Imagine a child whose entire family has been obliterated. It’s a tragic condition. Nobody deserves to live with the trauma of this magnitude.   

Islamophobia ought to be fought. The government of Canada will soon hold a National Action Summit on Islamophobia. It’s convening leaders from all levels of government to come up with a comprehensive policy aimed at ending violence against Muslims. 

On the other hand, the National Council of Canadian Muslims is also circulating a petition to help the government fight Islamophobia and racism. An excerpt by the council reads: “Muslims in Canada have become all too familiar with the violence of Islamophobia, with attacks on Muslim women in Alberta, the IMO mosque killing, and the Quebec City mosque massacre.”

In solidarity with the slain family
the National Council of Canadian Muslims is also circulating a petition