Vigil held in Charlottetown to honour Muslim family killed in Ontario
'We should all come together to condemn this act'
A few dozen people gathered for a vigil at Victoria Park in Charlottetown on Wednesday to mark the loss of the four family members struck and killed in London, Ont., earlier this week in what police say was a hate-motivated attack.
The vigil, put on my members of the Island's Muslim community, included a moment of silence and speeches by community leaders, including Premier Dennis King and Charlottetown Mayor Philip Brown.
Sofia Kamran, who lives in Stratford, said it broke her heart to see such a tragedy happen in Canada. She said she wanted to attend the vigil to show her support for the victims and anyone else impacted by the incident.
"I should be expressing my feelings for them and also coming up as a community that we are stronger as a community and there is no place of hatred in this community and united we are, stronger we are," Kamran said.
"We should all come together to condemn this act."
A London, Ont., man has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder after what police are calling a hate-motivated, anti-Muslim crime. Four people — Salman Afzaal, 46, his wife Madiha Salman, 44, their 15-year-old daughter Yumna Afzaal and Salman Afzaal's 74-year-old mother — were killed when a black truck rammed into them as they were walking.
Nine-year-old Fayez survived and remains in hospital.
"In 11 days, everybody will be celebrating Father's Day, but not this boy," said Farida Chishti at the vigil. "How does this feel, when a child can never say, 'Happy Father's Day, dad.'"
Chishti and other speakers called on all levels of government to stand up to Islamophobia.
Responded King: "I want to tell all of our family members and friends in our Muslim community that P.E.I. is your home, it's our home, and I want you to always feel safe here and we will not stop until you are."
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With files from Jessica Doria-Brown and Kirk Pennell