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Canadian Gov’t Gives $260K Fund to London Muslim Center

  • The funding will support one-on-one counseling, community outreach, and creating group therapy programs.
  • It comes in the midst of the trial of the extremist who killed four of the same Muslim family in 2021.

Offering support to London Muslims, the federal government and the Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) have announced a combined $260,000 towards support services for the community.

The funding comes in the midst of the trial of Nathaniel Veltman, the Canadian extremist who killed four members of the same Muslim family with his truck in June 2021.

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“It is often in the face of such tragic events that we realize the power of compassion, of mutual support, and love,” said Kamal Khera, Canada’s Minister of Diversity, Inclusion, and Persons with Disabilities, London News Today reported.

Khera acknowledged the “many difficult weeks, months, and years” the community has faced since the Afzaal family’s murder and noted that the trial “may be re-opening wounds, or increasing feelings of fear and anxiety” as more details are released.

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The funding will support London’s Muslim Resource Centre for Social Support and Integration.

“This is the first time this type of support has been given by any level of government in the aftermath of a mass casualty event,” Mohammed Hashim, CRRF’s Executive Director, said.

“We wanted to make sure that we did provide support and create a measurement framework to understand how many people were impacted. How many people are getting support? What type of demographics, young children are they getting support? What type of support do they need?”

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Dr. Mohammed Baobaid, the Executive Director of the Muslim Resource Center, said the money will be put towards one-on-one counseling, community outreach, and creating group therapy programs.

Baobaid said he hopes that the support model the Muslim Resource Centre has created can help other communities in the future.

“This is not just about – I know today we’re talking about Islamophobia, but we’re talking about any kind of hate crime, whether it is violence based on discrimination of color or sexual orientation,” he said.

“I think that there are a lot of things that we can learn from one another. Definitely, the cultural integrative model will be something that other communities can benefit from.”