I was shocked and saddened to hear of the terrorist attack in London, Ontario, which took the lives of four members of a family and left a nine-year-old boy critically injured.
Salman Afzaal and Madiha Salman, along with their daughter Yumna Afzaal and Salman’s mother Talat Afzaal, were killed on Sunday, June 6. Our thoughts go out to their young son, Fayaz Afzaal, who is hospitalized but expected to survive.
The tragedy of this event is compounded by the fact that the family was targeted because of their Muslim faith. I am sensitive to the fact that the details of this event are very difficult to read, but those who would like more information can find it at CBC News.
At times like these, some will say that hate and violence have no place in our society. But it is not enough to simply denounce these attacks, which are rooted in a culture of white supremacy. Those of us who benefit from this systemic racism must work to eradicate it.
For those who wish to attend, there will be a physically distanced vigil outside the Vancouver Art Gallery (750 Hornby St.) on Thursday, June 10 at 7:00 PM.
For those who wish to donate, a fundraiser to support Fayaz has been organized with permission from his extended family members.
I recognize that many members of our own community have been deeply impacted by this horrific event. The Naseeha Helpline provides confidential support to Muslim youth through phone, text and online counselling services. Contact 1-866-NASEEHA (627-3342) from anywhere in North America. Students may also access trauma-informed care from ECU’s counselling team.
Yours in solidarity,
President + Vice-Chancellor