[London, Ontario]Police say a memorial service is scheduled tonight at a mosque in London, Ontario, where there are members of a family of five who were deliberately killed by a driver.
A Muslim mosque in London said the city and country were devastated in the aftermath of the Sunday attack, four people were killed and a nine-year-old boy was taken to a hospital.
Police say their family was targeted for Muslim beliefs
They say a pickup truck driven by a 20-year-old London man put them on a curb and drove them on an evening walk.
Police did not disclose the names of the victims, but according to a statement released by the family late Monday, they were Salman Afzar, 46, wife Madiha Salman, and 15-year-old daughter Yumuna. Salman (Yumna Salman), Afzaal, 74 years old. One year old mother.
The couple’s nine-year-old son, Fayez, was seriously injured but has survived.
Family friend Sana Yasir, who lived on the street, confirmed that she was in contact with Afzar’s brother and sister-in-law and issued a statement on their behalf.
“We need to understand that the destruction of families in such a brutal and horrifying way is something we all have to face,” the statement said. “We need to confront hatred and Islamophobia and raise awareness in the community and in all political areas.”
Yasir said the family is well known in the local Pakistani Muslim community.
“They were the most affectionate, compassionate and sincere family members and always welcomed me with a smile,” she said.
Dozens of people paid tribute to the attack site on Monday night.
People cried, hugged, and placed flowers around streetlights and nearby trees, one meter away from where the truck jumped onto the sidewalk from the curb.
Rauf Ahmad and his three friends saw an ever-growing compliment in the corner. The group said all of them had members killed in Pakistan because of Muslim beliefs.
“I didn’t think there was racism in Canada, and when I came here two years ago I felt very safe, but now I don’t think it’s safe,” Ahmad said.
“Humanity comes first. We shouldn’t care if someone is Muslim, Jewish or Christian.”
Politicians inside and outside Canada have also blamed the attack, and many call it terrorism.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has accused the case on Twitter and said it has revealed “expanding Islamophobia in Western countries.”
The country’s Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Cresi, condolences to the victim’s relatives and wishes for the recovery of the child.
Nathaniel Veltman was arrested and charged with murder in the assault.