Advocates for the Muslim community in Canada have applauded a campaign against racism and Islamophobia in a city in Ontario where a vehicle ran down a Muslim family two years ago, killing four people.
This Monday, the Ontario government disclosed that it will provide roughly $372,000 (500,000 Canadian dollars) to help London create a public awareness campaign against hate and an online library of information.
The National Council of Canadian Muslims, an advocacy group, welcomed the decision on Friday, calling it “yet another step… towards positive change.”
According to an earlier statement by the organization’s CEO, Stephen Brown, “That night two years ago changed the way our community sees itself in Canada.”
“We had to face hate head-on, and all good Canadians still have work to do in this area. Since we still have a lot of work to do as a nation to address Islamophobia, this commitment to public education will hopefully serve as a catalyst in that direction.
On June 6, 2021, a pick-up truck driver ran over four members of the Afzaal family, including a 15-year-old, as they were out for a stroll in London, a city with a population of around 420,000 people, 200 kilometers (125 miles) west of Toronto.
The authorities said that they had been “targeted because of their Islamic faith” at the time.
The assault rekindled pain for Muslims living in Canada; many of them were still dealing with the fallout from the tragic 2017 attack on a mosque in Quebec that killed six worshipers and the fatal stabbing that occurred at another mosque in Toronto in 2020.
Following the incident in London, Canada’s government convened a national summit to address Islamophobia, and in January of this year, it named its first special representative to address the issue.
“Diversity is truly one of Canada’s greatest strengths, but for many Muslims, Islamophobia is all too familiar,” Trudeau said in a statement formally introducing the new envoy, Amira Elghawaby, to her position.
In recent months, a number of other instances targeting Muslims in Canada have occurred, prompting renewed calls for action to combat Islamophobia in the North American nation.
Josh Morgan, the mayor of London, stated on Thursday that the city would “promote acceptance for all Londoners” with the aid of the new investments.
Morgan stated in a statement that “not only must we speak out against hatred, but we must also take decisive and tangible action – and that’s exactly what this funding allows us to do.”
“Together, we will create a climate of respect and understanding in which racism, intolerance, and discrimination have no place.” SOURCE: AL JAZEERA