Islamophobic killings - GulfToday

Islamophobic killings

Canadian PM mourns killing of a Muslim family

Justin Trudeau lays flowers at a vigil outside the London Muslim Mosque organized after four members of a Canadian Muslim family were killed in London, Ontario, Canada. Reuters

Islamophobia is the fear of or hatred of against the religion of Islam or Muslims. Several scholars consider Islamophobia to be a form of xenophobia or racism, although the legitimacy of this definition is disputed.

Recently in Canada it (Islamophobia) took lives of four members of a Muslim family, who were run down by a man driving a pick-up truck (“Man mows down Muslim family in Ontario, Trudeau and Imran livid,” Gulf Today, June 9).

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in his statement: “This killing was no accident. This was a terrorist attack, motivated by hatred, in the heart of one of our communities.”  

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Twitter that the attack revealed the growing Islamophobia in Western countries.

Some scholars view Islamophobia and racism as partially overlapping phenomena, while others dispute the relationship, primarily on the grounds that religion is not a race.

The victims — two parents, two children and a grandmother — were on an evening walk when the truck struck them at an intersection in London, Ontario. The victims’ extended family issued a statement identifying the dead as Salman Afzal, 46; his wife Madiha, 44; their daughter Yumna, 15; and a 74-year-old grandmother whose name was withheld. The 20-year-old suspect, arrested shortly after the attack, has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder, while several leaders of the Muslim community have called on the courts to classify the episode as an act of terrorism.

Some commentators have posited an increase in Islamophobia resulting from the September 11 attacks, the rise of the Daesh of Iraq and the Levant, and other terror attacks in Europe and the United States by extremists.

Mohammed Ali
By email

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