BBBSC is saddened and angered by the tragedy in London, Ontario. That act of mass murder that took the lives of 4 family members, a husband and wife, the husband’s mother, and their 15 year old child that were killed, leaving one young son in critical condition. This was no accident, this was a hateful crime of mass murder perpetrated by one man, willfully and maliciously. We hope that our judicial system will serve justice for this family. As with the recent case in Hamilton, where paramedics were found responsible for the death of a young Muslim man, a death they could have prevented.
There is no room in a free and just society for the violence we are seeing fueled by Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, racism and bigotry.
The shock of the most recent tragedy is being named an act of terrorism by many. Whatever we call it, a family of 4 lost their lives. We join with the community in London, Ontario in mourning their loss.
We must stand for those communities who are facing bigotry and violence in its worst forms. As an organization that serves and advocates for youth we must stand up for those who face Islamophobia, Anti-Semitism, homophobia, and racism. It’s not up to the communities that face these traumas – the Muslim, Jewish, LGBTQ2S communities, Indigenous communities and racialized communities to fight against and fix the systems that enable this, we must stand up for them, be strong allies and find ways to somehow end the trauma.
We must create safe spaces for critical dialogue and reflection about the legacy of colonialism, racism and white supremacy within our communities. We must be open to learn and commit to act based on what we learn together. And we must invest in initiatives and efforts to eradicate the systems that enable this violence and trauma in a sustainable way.
We must build a better, safer and more just Canada for all, together.
Salman Afzaal, 46, physiotherapist and beloved member of the London community. According to the family, whether at his local cricket matches or at the Masjid, the first thing to greet you would be his gentle and welcoming smile.
Madiha Salman, 44, PhD student at Western University in Civil engineering. A brilliant scholar and a caring mother and friend.
Yumna Salman, 15, a grade 9 student finishing up her year at Oakridge Secondary School. A loving friend to many.
Grandmother, 74. Mother of Mr. Afzaal. A “pillar” of their family that cherished their daily walks.
The lone survivor of these London attacks is Fayez Salman, 9, who is currently in the hospital and being supported by his extended family.
*From @representasianproject on Instagram.