MuslimFest, the largest Muslim festival of North America, is coming back this weekend to London, Ontario, to give the community a sense of togetherness after London hate-motivated vehicle attack.
“This event demonstrates that all members of the London community will come together, celebrate together and show that love and togetherness prevails over hatred,” said Munir El-Kassem, the imam of the Islamic Centre of Southwest Ontario, Global News reported.
“We don’t claim that it will be easy but we have to continue,” he continued.
“The march that was done after the tragic event in early June demonstrated that we can do it.”
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The festival is the first since June’s hate crime against a Muslim family in London, Ontario.
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 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.
Muslimfest is taking place from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday at the Islamic Centre of Southwest Ontario.
“There will be artists performing throughout the (day). There will be a fun village for children, vendors and food,” El-Kassem said.
“Even though it’s called Muslimfest, everybody is welcome … Through togetherness and having fun, we want to show that people can still continue to live in peace and harmony.”
History of Success
MuslimFest is one of Ontario’s top 100 festivals. It is listed among the Top 40 Best festivals in North America by FlightNetwork.com.
Launched in 2004, MuslimFest is a joint project of DawaNet and Sound Vision. Today, it is considered North America’s largest Muslim festival of its kind, attracting over 30,000 attendees annually.
In addition, the event has received various local and national recognition recently. This include the Best Social Media Campaign and Best Greening of Festival awards.
For years, the event has served as a unique cultural fusion that combines faith traditions and Canadian culture.
Also, the festival was recognized by City of Mississauga for their #WasteFreeMuslimFest campaign.