One year on, the London City Hall plans to mark the first anniversary on June 6 with a day of remembrance to honor the Afzaal Muslim family killed in Ontario.
The London and Middlesex Local Immigration Partnership has asked city council to proclaim a day of remembrance for “Our London Family.”
Council’s corporate services committee voted unanimously, 5-0, to endorse the application for a day of remembrance. It goes to full council May 24 for approval.
“I think this day of remembrance for that family will be a very emotional time, and . . . a very powerful time,” deputy mayor Josh Morgan said during Monday’s meeting, London Free Press reported.
“Having a proclamation that also reflects that is very appropriate for us, too. It’ll be one of many, many, many things that occurs on that day.”
Salman Afzaal, 46, his 44-year-old wife, Madiha Salman, their 15-year-old daughter, Yumna, and her 74-year-old grandmother, Talat Afzaal, were killed on June 6, 2021, while out for an evening walk.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the killings a “terrorist attack” and vowed to clamp down on far-right groups and online hate.
Members of the Muslim community praised the committee for taking up the motion saying it “speaks volumes” about its members.
“(June 6) was something that shook the ground that we walk on, here in London and nationally,” Ali Chahbar, outreach co-ordinator at the London Muslim Mosque, said, adding Muslims appreciate the outpouring of sympathy and support after a tragedy that shook the entire London community.
“People are still reeling from it, and it’s going to take time” for them to recover.
“This is a great symbolic gesture,” said London’s Nusaiba Al-Azem, staff lawyer for the National Council of Canadian Muslims and vice-chair of the local mosque. “This just formalizes something that already exists on the ground for a lot of Londoners.
“I think declaring the day honors the emotional and mental impact that this day will have on lots of . . . us,” she said.
“So that is important in terms of just acknowledging where we are, so that we can move forward, and then it also provides an opportunity for these greater discussions” about racism and Islamophobia, Al-Azem said.