The Council of Canadians is mourning with the London community and Muslims from across the country and around the world after the targeted murder of four family members out for a walk this past Sunday. We also want to recognize our London Chapter who are closely affected by this act of hate and violence. They are reaching out to neighbours with opportunities to show solidarity with the local Muslim community, and continue to work to end racism and hate where they see it.
This lethal act of targeted violence against a Muslim family took place in a context of widespread and systemic Islamophobia and racism that has yet to be effectively addressed by any level of Canadian government. There has been a string of violent Islamophobic attacks, rooted in systems and beliefs of white supremacy that exist throughout Canadian society and underlie government policy. We see this anti-Muslim hatred not just in the actions of individuals but also in government policies and practices that systemically discriminate against Muslims within institutions and communities.
As Dr. Munir El-Kassem, imam of the Islamic Centre of Southwest Ontario, has stated, “we’ve got to deal with hatred on the educational front, on the political front, on the social front. We’ve got to prevent this from ever happening again.”
We echo the call from the National Council of Canadian Muslims and allies for a National Action Summit on Islamophobia. Government action to address Islamophobia has not met expectations since the January 2017 attack on the Quebec Mosque that killed six people and wounded several others. Despite his display of emotion after the shooting, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has not enacted any significant measures to combat Islamophobia, and opposition to the government’s lack of action on racism, Islamophobia, and the genocide of Indigenous peoples is reaching a groundswell in mainstream thought and expression.
The time to end this is now.
Together, we must refuse space to white supremacy. This means learning about it, recognizing it, and acting to dismantle it within ourselves, our communities, and our government.