'Canada is beautiful': Muslim family touched by Saskatoon response to attack
Family plans to host Neighbours Without Borders event for Aug. 11
An attack against her father had her reeling from shock and upset, but Aisha Sheikh said she's been really encouraged by the outpouring of support for her father and the family.
"It's reminded us that really the promise of Canada and the hope of Canada and the duty of Canada will help us get beyond this, because Canada has always represented hope," she said.
"And Canada is beautiful when we all work together to improve society."
Her father, 66-year-old Abu Sheikh, was walking to his Saskatoon home from the mosque when a white half-ton truck swerved and drove directly at him, forcing him to dive into a bush. Once he got into his house, two bricks smashed through his front window, an event that left him shaken.
City police say they are actively investigating what happened and plan to use the incident to help raise public awareness. Supt. Dave Haye met with the family Friday.
"We want to share the story because we wanted to ensure that people knew that no matter where you are, these incidents could happen," said his daughter.
However, as news of the incident spread, people began reaching out to the family, with people offering to pay to repair their window, while previously unknown neighbours brought them flowers and cards.
Paul Chavady was among the people that responded to a Reddit thread about the attack, seeking out the family to offer his help to repair their window.
"I was heartbroken to hear of that happening in Saskatoon," he said.
He'd moved to Canada from India at the age of 12 or 13, and said as an immigrant himself, he'd only ever had positive reactions from people. It leads him to feeling that this type of attack is "unusual" in a smaller centre like Saskatoon.
"As things like this happen, especially as it becomes more common, which I'm afraid of, we need to make sure it's not normalized."
Now is a time to stand together against acts of hate or violence against any group. This cannot be tolerated in our community, no family should have to go through this. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/yxe?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#yxe</a> <a href="https://t.co/2feuhc2YTM">https://t.co/2feuhc2YTM</a>—@charlieclarkyxe
Sheikh said her family was inspired by the reaction of people like Chavady to host a one-day event, called Neighbours without Borders.
The event, tentatively scheduled for Aug. 11, may include a walk from a mosque and a tea ceremony. She's inviting artists and other partners interested in helping out to join them.
"We want to be able to have people with any beliefs to come together and also hold space for differences and celebrate being Canadian — because we represent love and we're not going anywhere."
with files from Alicia Bridges