June 2021:On June 6, 2021, in London, a town in Ontario, Canada, a 20-year old man killed four members of a Muslim family of Pakistan origin by running them over with his truck. A nine-year-old boy was injured but survived. A police official later told the media that this seemed a premeditated act motivated by hate.

Reaction to the attack in Canada

Following reports are quoted from the media:

  • The police arrested the attacker, charged him for four counts of first-degree murder, etc.
  • The city mayor said flags would be lowered for three days in London.
  • Canadian PM Mr. Trudeau condemned the attack and vowed in the Parliament to move against far-right groups. He observed a moment of silence for the victims in the House of Commons in Ottawa. He called the attack brutal, cowardly and brazen.
  • Mr. Justin Trudeau tweeted as follows:

I’m horrified by the news from London, Ontario. To the loved ones of those who were terrorized by yesterday’s act of hatred, we are here for you. We are also here for the child who remains in hospital – our hearts go out to you, and you will be in our thoughts as you recover.

  • Canadian PM visited the location of the attack and observed silence in respect to the victims. He also attended a huge meeting that was held in memory of the deceased.
  • Mayor Holder of ‘London’ called the attack an act of mass murder, perpetrated against Muslims, against Londoners and rooted in unspeakable hatred. The mayor said he was speaking “on behalf of all Londoners when I say our hearts are broken.”
  • Police were weighing the possibility of terrorism charges.
  • Ontario Premier Ford tweeted, “Hate and Islamophobia have NO place in Ontario.”
  • PM Justin tweeted further officially:

To the Muslim Community in London and to Muslims across the country, know that we stand with you. Islamophobia has no place in any of our communities. This hate is insidious and despicable—and it must stop.

  • Elger Baraker, a citizen replied to the PM in the following inimitable words:

Please advocate for the immediate implementation of equality, diversity, inclusivity, and antiracism training to be implemented in all levels of our Canadian education system. This is the ACTION we need to start to remove the cultural weeds of hatred planted by our ancestors.

  • Flags were half-masted in Ontario government buildings, Lamington  municipal facilities, Classic Rock County facilities, Nor Hills Hosp, Whitby town hall, Bluewater District School Board,      Northumberland Country Exhibition Place (Toronto), Burlington County, Barri City Hall etc., etc.
  • Ahmadiyya Jamaat Ottawa expressed, “utterly shocked and heartbroken to learn about the car attack targeting a Muslim family in London, ON….Love for All, Hatred for None.”
  • MTA Canada (Ahmadiyya) tweeted: “As the Nation comes together to mourn the loss of an innocent Muslim family, let us focus on the love that is outpouring from Canadians for the Muslim community.

With education and solidarity, we can stand united against Islamophobia.

  • German Embassy in Ottawa tweeted:

Horrifying attack in London Ontario, Sunday. Our thoughts are with the young child still in hospital whose life has been tragically affected. Germany and Canada stand together against racism and hate.

  • Mr. Erin O Toole, MP and Leader of Opposition said:

The scene in London tonight was heart breaking. The impact of this act of terrorism is massive. What comes after grief is commitment. We have to commit ourselves to working across party lines, and with Premiers and mayors, to end the violence and hatred that took these lives.

  • Canadian Armed Forces tweeted:

Last Sunday, four Canadians lost their lives in an act of hate and bigotry.

They had goals, ambitions and future to achieve and enjoy together.

We stand by our Muslim colleagues and members in denouncing Islamophobia. @CanadianForces on June 11, 2021

  • On June 10, Supdt Beverly Sgt Sangha of York Police visited Baitul Islam Mosque to offer their condolences and to reassure that YRP stand with Muslims in solidarity and their commitment to peace, safety and security of all places of worship.
  • PM Imran Khan stated: Islamophobia will have to be stopped in the West.
  • Pak FM Qureshi telephoned to Canadian FM: They agreed to make joint efforts against Islamophobia.
  • Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi declared Friday 11 June as Protest Day over the incident.
  • Some dailies in Pakistan published the incident news as the front-page banner headline.
  • The daily Dawn of June 10 commented on the incident in its lead editorial.

Hate attacks of similar nature in Pakistan

Planned and deliberate attacks on Ahmadis occur in Pakistan. These are also terror assaults based on hate. For instance in the recent past:

  • Mr. Tahir Ahmad Nasim a US citizen was shot dead in Peshawar courtroom, in the presence of the judge on July 29, 2020. The murderer assumed that the targeted ‘blasphemer’ was still an Ahmadi.
  • Mr. Mairaj Ahmad, Ahmadi of Peshawar was shot dead at about 9 p.m. near his store on August 12, 2020. He had received threats prior to the day of the attack. A month later, his brother Gulzar Ahmad in Peshawar was shot; he was hit with five bullets.
  • Professor Dr Naeemuddin Khattak, Ahmadi, was target-killed while driving homeward in Peshawar on October 5, 2020.
  • Mr. Mehboob Ahmad Khan, Ahmadi, 82, was on his way back home in Peshawar, after visiting his daughter when someone shot him dead at close range on November 8, 2020.
  • On, February 11, 2021 Dr Abdul Qadir, Ahmadi, was shot dead in Peshawar.

On this series of pre-planned murders, there was hardly a news or comment in the press except for a mention when Professor Khattak was killed. There was no condolence visit to the victims’ families by any VIP. No mention was made in the Parliament nor the Provincial Assembly.

It is on record that subsequent to the murder of Mr. Tahir A Nasim, the elite police squad had themselves photographed in a selfie fawning over the arrested murderer. A known social media activist, a senior Supreme Court lawyer and a leading politician’s son visited the killer’s family to show solidarity. Within a fortnight of the murder, Syed Imran Shah MNA expressed solidarity with the killer in the National Assembly and demanded that he be released immediately through a Presidential ordinance, or the State pay his Diyyat (blood price) for release, otherwise he and his friends would pay. He claimed that Minister Ali Muhammad Khan and Junaid Anwar MNA and many others would join him to bear this expense.