The Society of United Professionals stands with the Muslim community following Sunday’s deadly hate-motivated attack on a Muslim family in London, Ontario. Described by police as premeditated, the driver of a pick-up truck mounted the sidewalk to kill four people of three generations aged 15 to 74. A now-orphaned 9-year-old boy was also severely injured. The family had been out for their regular evening walk when they were targeted.
The Society has spoken out against hateful attacks in the past. Yet this one is particularly close to our membership. The victims are close relations of a Society member in our Bruce Power Local. While the member has given permission to share this information, he has asked that his name remain private and the Society respects his wishes. There are also reports that the family has asked for the victims’ photos not to be shared at this time and we also respect those wishes.
The Society joins the entire Bruce Power community in supporting our member and will be making a financial contribution to support his surviving nephew. Any member who wishes to make a personal contribution is encouraged to do so through this fundraiser that is sanctioned by the family: https://www.launchgood.com/campaign/london_community_united_against_hate.
While we are outraged, heartbroken and grief-stricken, this attack is not an anomaly. This is the third deadly hate crime against Canadian Muslims in the past four years, including 2017’s Quebec City mosque shooting that killed six people and injured five others. Other types of reported anti-Muslim hate crimes are also increasing. According to Statistics Canada, there was a 9% increase in reported hate crimes against Muslims in Canada from 2018 to 2019, the most recent year reported.
Islamophobia is its own scourge but it must also be seen in the context of other forms of white supremacist hate. Anti-Black, anti-Indigenous, anti-Asian, and anti-Semitic hatred among others all fundamentally come from the same place. That is why, in the wake of the Quebec City mosque attack, the Society introduced the Charter of Inclusive Workplaces and Communities, which was later adopted by others in the labour movement. To stand against hate and show your support for inclusive workplaces and communities, you can click here to download, print and post the Charter of Inclusive Workplaces and Communities.
The Society encourages everyone to speak out against Islamophobic hate at this especially difficult moment for the Muslim community to help rebuild the community’s shattered sense of safety. No one should feel unsafe going for a walk with their family and yet that is the horrific reality today for Muslims across Ontario and beyond.
We dearly hope that these precious lives were not taken in vain and that this attack becomes an inflection point for stopping hate everywhere.