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Mayors push Canadian PM for summit on Islamophobia

SHAFAQNA- IQNA: The mayors of two Canadian cities where deadly attacks on the Muslim community have occurred, sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pushing for a summit on Islamophobia.

The letter, from London Mayor Ed Holder and Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume, praises Parliament’s unanimous vote in favor of an Emergency National Action Summit on Islamophobia, but says urgent action is needed.

The letter comes following a vehicle attack on a Muslim family in London that left four dead and one injured.

On June 6 the Afzaal family was out for a walk when they were struck by a pickup truck. Salman Afzaal, 46, his 44-year-old wife Madiha, their 15-year-old daughter Yumnah and her 74-year-old grandmother Talat Afzaal were all killed. Nine-year-old Fayez Afzaal continues to recover from his injuries.

Nathaniel Veltman, 20, of London is facing four counts of first-degree murder, and one count of attempted murder. Police have alleged all five counts also constitute terrorism offences.

In January 2017, six members of the Muslim community were killed in a shooting at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City in what was widely called a terrorist attack.

Alexandre Bissonnette was sentenced to six life sentences without possibility of parole for 40 years after pleading guilty to six counts of first-degree murder and six more of attempted murder.

The letter explains, “As a result of these and countless other vile Islamophobic incidents, both subtle and overt, the need for urgent action is undeniable. First and foremost, the voices of people representing Muslim communities from across Canada must be heard.”

It also calls for municipalities to have an active role in the summit, saying, “we stand shoulder to shoulder with members of our local communities, and all Canadians who seek a safer, more equitable and compassionate Canada.”

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