Monday, October 3, 2022

Hundreds take part in the funeral of the Canadian Muslim family who died in truck attack

LONDON, ONTARIO – Hundreds of mourners attended a public funeral on Saturday of a Canadian Muslim family who was run over by a pickup truck driver and killed in an attack.

The four members of the Afzaal family, which spans three generations, died last Sunday when Nathaniel Veltman (20) ran into them while performing an evening walk near their home in London, Ontario. A fifth family member, a 9-year-old boy, is recovering in hospital from his injuries.

Police said the attack was premeditated and claimed the family was targeted because of their Islamic faith.

The hourly ceremony began after the four coffins draped in Canadian flags were rolled into the composition of the Islamic Center of Southwestern Ontario and ended with prayers and compassion offered by religious and community leaders. The funeral was later private.

“The fact that their coffins are shrouded in the beautiful Canadian flag is a fitting testimony to the fact that the entire Canadian nation is standing with them,” Raza Bashir, Tarar High Commissioner for Pakistan in Canada, told the rally.

The family moved from Canada to Canada 14 years ago.

The attack sparked outrage in Canada, with politicians from all sides condemning the crime, and the growing calls for action to curb hate crime and Islamophobia. London, 200 kilometers (120 miles) southwest of Toronto, saw an avalanche of support in the aftermath of the attack.

Veltman, who returns to court Monday, is facing four charges of first-degree murder and one of attempted murder.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the killing a “terrorist attack” and vowed to hold on to far-right groups and online hatred.

“I think we are emotionally exhausted,” Imam Aarij Anwer told Canadian Broadcasting Corps before the ceremony. “We look forward to concluding on Saturday.”

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Nation World News Desk
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