London assault: Prayer service, vigil to honour Muslim household

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Holding flowers and reciting verses of the Qur’an, members of the Muslim group in London, Ont., gathered for a prayer service Monday to recollect 4 members of a household killed in what prosecutors have known as a hate-motivated assault.

The service on the metropolis’s Islamic cemetery was amongst a number of occasions organized to honour the Afzaal household after the June 6, 2021 truck assault.

“The impression was very sturdy on the group,” Munir El-Kassem, imam of the Islamic Centre of Southwest Ontario, stated of final 12 months’s tragedy.

“But we did stand on our ft once more and we’re utilizing this expertise to mainly ship messages to the world that Islamophobia … is one thing we should always get rid of as soon as and for all. As a result of what number of occasions are we going to bid farewell folks to the opposite facet of life earlier than we get up and say sufficient is sufficient.”

Salman Afzaal, 46, his spouse Madiha Salman, 44, their 15-year-old daughter Yumnah and her 74-year-old grandmother, Talat Afzaal, died after police say they have been intentionally hit by a truck whereas out for a night stroll. The household’s nine-year-old son was harm, however survived.

Relations of the Afzaal household positioned flowers Monday on the graves of their family members, which have been marked with small Canadian flags.

Shams Syed, who had been shut with Salman Afzaal, stated the prayer service was a means for the group to pay its respects to those that had died whereas additionally taking a stand in opposition to Islamophobia.

He remembered Afzaal as a “nice man” who would chorus from entering into arguments, selecting as an alternative to “hold smiling and listening.”

“It is a straight knife into your coronary heart,” he stated whereas recalling the deaths of the Afzaal household.

Final 12 months’s tragedy has taken a toll, stated Syed, who can also be a trustee with the Pakistani Canadian Affiliation.

“Primarily the youth obtained affected very badly as a result of they did not really feel secure,” he stated. “My daughter wears hijab, we have been all the time involved when she goes out … Something can occur.”

A vigil for the household has been deliberate for six:30 p.m. in London immediately and will probably be led Yumnah’s associates.

Leaders from the Muslim group and associates of the victims known as for an finish to racism and Islamophobia on Sunday throughout an emotional tribute at Yumnah’s faculty that was organized by her associates.

A 21-year-old man faces 4 counts of first-degree homicide within the assault. The case has not but gone to trial.

This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed June6, 2022.

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