Local Muslim community 'fearful' for their own families
(92.3 newsroom stock photo)
Waleed Aslam says when he learned of the deadly attack on a family in London because of their Muslim faith, it made him fearful for his own wife and children.
Aslam is the spokesperson for the Owen Sound Muslim Association and is helping to organize Friday night's vigil at city hall.
He admits it's going to take some time, maybe not forever, but some time to understand the magnitude of this heinous terrorist attack and what its done to the Muslim community subconsciously.
Aslam says they're hoping tonight's event brings peace and unity.
"For every one misguided individual like the man who attacked the family in London, there are a thousand or ten thousand people with their arms wide open that are progressive and accepting and wanting to make their community a better place."
He says they've had so many messages of support and love, they thought an event like the one being held tonight would be the perfect show of strength and in effect, send a strong message in naming and shaming and dismantling Islamophobia.
Aslam says due to pandemic protocols the event will not be a long affair.
They plan to have a handful of speakers and will also be collecting non perishable food items for the food bank.
Masks and distancing are a requirement to attend and you're asked not to pass candles around.
Meanwhile Owen Sound Mayor Ian Boddy has also issued a statement on the attack.
On behalf of Council, I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to the extended families and friends of the Afzaal and Salman family.
My thoughts and prayers are with the family’s 9-year old son who has been seriously injured. I wish him a speedy recovery.
I am deeply saddened by this senseless anti-Muslim hate crime. As Canadians, we often think of this kind of domestic terrorism as something that happens elsewhere. These murders are an attack on all of us and we must stand up against racism and hatred together.
Flags will be lowered to half-mast on June 11 at City Hall. Let us take the time to mourn the family and remind ourselves to fight against existing prejudices whenever we see it. Let us continue to build a community that is inclusive and genuinely appreciative of the diversity that enriches us, a community that is respectful of each and every person.