Thousands of people march against Islamophobia in memory of the Afzaal family in London, Ont. on Sunday, June 5, 2022. The march is part of a weekend of events which mark the one-year anniversary of the family being killed in a hate motivated terrorist attack as they walked near their home. Courtesy: THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Geoff Robins
A vigil is being held in London, Ontario tonight to mark the second anniversary of the truck attack that killed four members of a local family.
Organized by Our London Family, the ceremony will honour the family of Madiha Salman, 44, her 46-year-old husband Salman Afzaal, their daughter Yumna Afzaal, 15, and Salman Afzaal’s 74-year-old mother, Talat Afzaal, who were struck and killed by the driver of a truck while they were out for a walk on June 6, 2021. A fifth victim, the couple’s nine-year-old son Fayez was also injured in the attack but survived.
Police have said they believe the attack was hate-motivated, and that the family was targeted due to their Muslim faith.
“June 6, 2023 marks the second annual commemoration of the Islamophobic hate crime that killed four Londoners. We mark the anniversary of this event to honour the community members taken from us, remember how hate divides us, and recognize the resiliency that has emerged from this tragedy,” Our London Family said on its website.
The event is happening tonight at 6:30 at London’s Memorial Plaza, located at Hyde Park and South Carriage Road, the same area where the attack occurred.
The vigil is open to all Londoners. The organizers say that Magreb prayer will be held and ask those who intend to pray to bring their own mats.
There are several other events happening in London this week to honour the lives lost during the attack. This includes the Londoners Remember and Learn In Honour of #OurLondonFamily hosted by London & Middlesex Local Immigration Partnership on June 8, which is an educational event about Islam that includes a video, guided discussion about bias and a quiz. On June 9 a free, day-long workshop is happening at the Muslim Resource Centre for Social Support and Integration that is open to both the public and service providers. Information about the events being held to honour the family are here.
The driver of the vehicle that rammed into the family, Nathaniel Veltman, who was 20 years old at the time, has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder in relation to the attack. He remains in custody awaiting trial, which is scheduled to start in September in Windsor.