The following statement is by Across Boundaries’ Executive Director, Aseefa Sarang, on the cases of
Islamophobia across Canada
On Sunday, June 6, 2021, a husband, his wife, their 15-year-old daughter, and their 74-year-old grandmother were murdered in an act of terrorism when a driver of a black truck slammed into them as they took an evening stroll. Police claim it was a planned, premeditated act motivated by hate, and the victims were targeted due to their religion, Islam.
The youngest member of the family, their son, nine years of age, is in hospital and expected to recover, but now faces the rest of his life traumatized by this horrendous act.
Across Boundaries is horrified by this deadly terrorist act of Islamophobia. And, this is not the only recent act of violence against Muslims:
• In Quebec, in 2017, a gunman murdered six people and seriously injured another 19 inside a Quebec
• In Toronto, last year, Mohammed Aslam Zafis, a Muslim man, was stabbed to death outside a
• In Alberta, earlier this year, there were a series of racially motivated assaults against mostly Black,
Muslim women in Calgary and Edmonton.
Unfortunately, there have been too many other attacks to mention. And these acts continue to leave many people in Muslim communities across Canada feeling anxious and unsafe. While we grieve for the family in London, (who wishes to remain unnamed) and others who have died at the hands of violent, racist, Islamophobic acts, we believe more must be done than merely the
sharing of thoughts and prayers.
Across Boundaries stands in solidarity with the Muslim community. As an ally, we join them in calling for an immediate National Action Summit on Islamophobia. Federal, provincial, and municipal/territorial leaders must come together to take immediate action on dismantling both violent forms of Islamophobia and the systemic nature of Islamophobia. These actions are necessary to ensure
we don’t lose one more person to this type of hatred and violence.
Aseefa Sarang, Executive Director of Across Boundaries, emphasizes “while the Prime Minister in his statement to Parliament today says “this is not us”, sadly the reality is that this is us. This is all around us. And we need to root expressions of hate and discrimination for various groups, religions, identities out of our communities, schools and homes, so that every Canadian can feel safe and live without fear”.
Across Boundaries recognizes the impacts of racism and all forms of oppressions on health and mental health, and provides mental health supports that are holistic and equitable for racialized communities. For those dealing with trauma from these events, please contact us.