Motion to denounce London, Ont. attack goes to council Tuesday

First unveiled in early February, a 130-page draft version of the plan was formally tabled during Tuesday's meeting of the strategic priorities and policy committee. Matthew Trevithick / Global News

An emergent motion is heading to London, Ont., city council next week in wake of Sunday’s attack where four members of a Muslim family was killed.

Talat Afzaal, 74, her son Salman Afzaal, 46, his wife Madiha Salman, 44, and their 15-year-old daughter Yumna Salman all died.

The family was out for a walk when a man in a truck drove them down in what police have called a premeditated attack because they were Muslim.

The couple’s nine-year-old son Fayez was seriously injured and remains in hospital.

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The motion, submitted by Councillor Mohamed Salih, aims to bring “some significant steps in (helping) the community heal, but also to call out the horrendous attack,” said Salih.

“The goal is to have city administration work with the local community, particularly the local Muslim community, the Community Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and stakeholders to help end Islamophobia and report back on the outcomes of that work,” he continued.

Salih says the motion asks city staff to work with the Muslim community to determine the most suitable way to honour the victims of Sunday’s attack, as well as how to highlight and honour the contributions from the Muslim community.

“The motion also starts off with making sure we denounce the June 6 Islamophobic attack on Hyde Park,” he said. “It’s important for us to stand firm and united, (and) bring the entire weight of the city and put that on white supremacy, racism and Islamophobia, and do whatever we can to end it.”

Read more: Funeral to be held Saturday for London, Ont., family killed in attack

Councillor Arielle Kayabaga, who seconded the motion, called it a “call to action.”

“The (attack) may seem like a one-off situation, but it isn’t a one-off situation. There had been different counts of Islamophobia and racism towards Muslims in our community,” she said.

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Kayabaga says one of the goals of the motion is to end Islamophobia and “also to restore the peace and reaffirm the Muslim community that they belong here.”

“As we’ve seen, something like this can happen, and we cannot wait until the next big (attack) to happen for us to act.”

Click to play video: 'Multi-faith march draws thousands in honour of London, Ont. attack victims'
Multi-faith march draws thousands in honour of London, Ont. attack victims

An amendment has been submitted by London Mayor Ed Holder and Councillor Josh Morgan.

The amendment adds that “the Municipal Council supports the call for a National Action Summit on Islamophobia and stands ready to participate in any Summit or related intergovernmental effort to dismantle all forms of Islamophobia.”

The National Council of Canadian Muslims called on all levels of government across Canada to come together for a National Action Summit on Islamophobia on June 8, two days after the attack.

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Read more: Ontario MPPs unanimously pass motion condemning Islamophobia, violence targeting Muslim community

The council asked the governments to take immediate action on dismantling both violent and systemic forms of Islamophobia.

Kayabaga says the City’s next steps are to “continue to work towards eradicating every form of racism.”

The motion will go to council on Tuesday.

–With files from The Canadian Press

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