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London and Quebec City mayors join forces in joint letter supporting action summit on Islamophobia

Around 80 Londoners walked around Victoria Park in solidarity against Islamophobia as part of the Hijabs for Harmony event Friday, June 18, 2021. Sawyer Bogdan / Global News

The mayors of London, Ont., and Quebec City have penned a joint letter to the prime minister in support of an emergency national action summit on Islamophobia in the wake of the London attack.

London and Quebec City have been the sites of two of the deadliest Islamophobic attacks in Canada.

On June 11, members from all parties in the House of Commons unanimously voted in favour of the government organizing an emergency national action summit to tackle Islamophobia.

The vote comes after four members of a Muslim family were killed in a vehicle attack in London while out for a walk. Police have said the Afzaal family was targeted for their faith.

Read more: MPs unanimously back call for emergency summit on Islamophobia after London, Ont. attack

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Quebec City was the site of another Islamophobic attack in 2017, when a man entered a mosque during evening prayers and started shooting people, killing six and injuring five more.

“As a result of these and countless other vile Islamophobic incidents, both subtle and overt, the need for urgent action is undeniable,” the joint letter reads.

“First and foremost, the voices of people representing Muslim communities from across Canada must be heard. Their experiences are vital and their voices, essential.”

The letter by London Mayor Ed Holder and Québec City Mayor Régis Labeaume goes on to offer support from municipalities in helping to “eradicate the scourge of Islamophobia across the country.”

Read more: Supreme Court to hear appeal of Quebec City mosque shooter’s sentence

In the letter, both Holder and Labeaume talk of the need to combat all forms of hatred, including antisemitism. A separate summit addressing the rise in antisemitism in recent months is also in the works.

“It is our hope that this summit, along with the Emergency National Action Summit on Islamophobia, will serve as a catalyst for measurable action in support of other racialized communities across our country,” the letter reads.

The four members of the Azaal family killed in the London attack on June 6 were Talat Afzaal, 74, her son Salman Afzaal, 46, his wife Madiha Salman, 44, and their 15-year-old daughter Yumna Salman.

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The family’s nine-year-old son Fayez was the sole survivor of the attack.

The accused Nathaniel Veltman, 20, is facing charges of first-degree and attempted murder as well as charges alleging the attack was an act of terrorism.

—With files from Amanda Connolly

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