NDP MP Lindsay Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe) on Friday asked Parliament for unanimous consent to convene a National Action Summit on Islamophobia that should take place before the end of July 2021.
“A Muslim family went out for a walk, like so many families and people have been doing in this pandemic, and this family didn’t make it back home because of hate. No one should ever feel unsafe in their community and neighbourhood,” said Mathyssen. “The Liberal government needs to do more than share their words of condolences. They did not address the widespread hate in this country after the mosque attack in Quebec City or the stabbing at a Toronto mosque. If they do nothing after this week’s tragedy, sadly we will likely see another one.”
Four members of a family, — Yumna Afzaal, 15, Madiha Salman, 44, Talat Afzaal, 74, and Salman Afzaal, 46 — were killed when truck driver Nathaniel Veltman, 20, struck them in London, Ontario, on Sunday in what police said was “a planned, premeditated” attack because they were Muslims. Nine-year-old Fayez Salman was the only surviving victim.
Canada has been deeply affected by Islamophobia at all federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal levels. All political leaders at every level of government in Canada need to urgently change their policies to prevent another attack targeting Canadian Muslims, the NDP said.
“Canada needs to urgently address our problem of white supremacy and far right radicalisation. We cannot give hate any air to breathe or space to take hold,” said NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh. “Unfortunately, tragedies like these are not isolated events. Muslims across this country have experienced hate for years. It should not be this way. It is the government’s responsibility to address this now.”
The NDP motion passed with unanimous consent.
“This motion is only the beginning. There is a long road ahead but New Democrats will keep fighting against Islamophobia and all forms of racism and discrimination so that Canadians can feel safe in their communities,” the NDP said in a statement.