Pakistan-origin family of 4 was killed in a planned Islamophobic attack in Canada on Sunday.
According to police, aged 74 and 44, a 46-year-old man and a 15-year-old girl – a grandmother, mother, father and their teenage daughter – were killed on Sunday night when Nathaniel Veltman ploughed his black pickup truck into a group of pedestrians in the city of London, Ontario.
A nine-year-old boy, is a lone survivor who remains in hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
The attacker who fled the scene was arrested at a mall seven kilometers from the intersection in London, Ontario where the incident happened.
The London police service chief, Steve Williams said that the attacker Veltman appeared to be wearing a “body armour-like” vest when he was arrested.
Detective Superintendent Paul Waight at a news conference told, “There is evidence that this was a planned, premeditated act, motivated by hate. It is believed that these victims were targeted because they were Muslim.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took to Twitter saying that he was horrified by what he described as an act of hatred.
“I’m horrified by the news from London, Ontario. To the loved ones of those who were terrorized by yesterday’s act of hatred, we are here for you. We are also here for the child who remains in hospital – our hearts go out to you, and you will be in our thoughts as you recover,” he wrote.
“To the Muslim community in London and to Muslims across the country, know that we stand with you. Islamophobia has no place in any of our communities. This hate is insidious and despicable – and it must stop,” PM Justin Trudeau added.
To the Muslim community in London and to Muslims across the country, know that we stand with you. Islamophobia has no place in any of our communities. This hate is insidious and despicable – and it must stop.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) June 7, 2021
On the other hand, City’s Mayor Ed Holder ordered flags outside city hall lowered for three days of mourning.
A statement issued in this regard stated “Let me be clear: This was an act of mass murder, perpetrated against Muslims and rooted in unspeakable hatred’.
‘This act of unspeakable hatred, this act of Islamaphobia, must be followed by acts of compassion, acts of kindness, acts of empathy, acts of solidarity and, above all else, love’, it added.
The Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi have also condemned the incident.
“Saddened to learn of the killing of a Muslim Pakistani-origin Canadian family in London, Ontario. This condemnable act of terrorism reveals the growing Islamophobia in Western countries. Islamophobia needs to be countered holistically by the international community,” PM Imran Khan said in a tweet on Tuesday.
Saddened to learn of the killing of a Muslim Pakistani-origin Canadian family in London, Ontario. This condemnable act of terrorism reveals the growing Islamophobia in Western countries. Islamophonia needs to be countered holistically by the international community.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) June 8, 2021
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in a tweet said, “3 generations of Pakistani-Canadians were killed in a brutal act of mass murder for their Muslim faith. This is an act of terror rooted in unspeakable hatred & Islamophobia. Extend our deepest sympathy to the family members & pray for the recovery of the only survivor; a little boy.”
3 generations of Pakistani-Canadians were killed in a brutal act of mass murder for their Muslim faith. This is an act of terror rooted in unspeakable hatred & Islamophobia.— Shah Mahmood Qureshi (@SMQureshiPTI) June 8, 2021
Extend our deepest sympathy to the family members & pray for recovery of the only survivor; a little boy.
Ever since the tragic news broke out, #Islamophobia and #Canada have been heavily trending on social media with Muslims from all around the world demanding justice for the family.
Canada is a country where a Muslim family in London, Ontario, just out for a walk gets intentionally hit by a car (killing 4), but we still continue to pride ourselves on "multiculturalism."— Dr. Amit Arya (@AmitAryaMD) June 7, 2021
Canada needs to stop denying the existence of #Islamophobia, and other forms of racism!
The Islamophobic murder of a Muslim family in London, ON was an act of hate & terror that needs to be prosecuted that way— Dr. Rima Berns-McGown (@beyrima) June 7, 2021
Systemic #Islamophobia in education, the media & everywhere elsewhere fuel hate and physical violence
It has to stop
Don't forget it was just four years ago that 91 MPs voted against a motion condemning Islamophobia— Elizabeth Renzetti (@lizrenzetti) June 7, 2021