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The National Council of Canadian Muslims says a police report was filed after a number of community members sent it a hate-filled video, in addition to other Islamophobic online content, following the killing of four members of a Muslim family in London, Ont.
The video surfaced days after a Muslim family were intentionally run down by a driver of a speeding truck who targeted the family because of their faith, on June 6. Police described it as a “hate-motivated killing.”
Four members of the Afzaal family were killed and a young boy, nine-year-old Fayez, was orphaned.
Nathaniel Veltman, the 20-year-old man involved in the attack, is charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.
The incident has since resulted in many vigils across the country.
The video, which surfaced online and has since been removed, shows Muslim women walking on a London, Ont. street, and a man utters words of encouragement to a vehicle that drives by, suggesting it run the women over.
“It’s not the first time we’ve seen something like this. There’s online hate, incitement to violence against Muslims, in particular, and against Indigenous people, Black people and others from racial minorities,” said Nadia Hassan, chief operating officer of the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM).
Hassan said the violence online is far more prevalent than people realize. “We know that this is one … space (in) which hate is produced and circulated. This is a systemic issue, but also a whole-of-society issue.”
Hasan said Islamophobia is intensifying. “It’s becoming more and more bold. It’s becoming more and more common in these very violent forms, which is very terrifying.”
“I think for a lot of Muslims, especially visible Muslim Canadians across the country, there’s a real fear that has set in.
“People are scared for their safety.”
The NCCM put out a petition calling for an urgent national action summit on Islamophobia, which has garnered 30,000 signatures, so far.
“We call on all levels of government — federal, provincial, territorial, municipal — across the country to come together for a national action summit on Islamophobia to take immediate action on dismantling both violent forms of Islamophobia and systemic Islamophobia.”