Justice prevails - GulfToday

Justice prevails

Nathaniel Veltman

A courtroom sketch of Nathaniel Veltman, 20, accused of mowing down a Muslim family in London, Ontario, Canada. Reuters

There are a number of other possible terms which are also used in order to refer to negative feelings and attitudes towards Islam and Muslims, such as Islamophobia, anti-Islamism, Muslimophobia. Canada is pressing terrorism charges against a man accused of mowing down a Muslim family with a pickup truck, killing four (“Man charged with terrorism for truck attack,” Gulf Today, June 16).

We are supporting Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland on her latest statement that, “I think it is really important for us to name it as an act of terror. It is important for us to identify this as an act of Islamophobia, and it is important for us to identify the terrible threat that white supremacism poses to Canada, and to Canadians.”

Five members of the Afzaal family were out for a walk in London, Ontario — around 200 kilometres southwest of Toronto — on June 6, when a truck driver struck them on purpose.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau previously said the killings were “a terrorist attack, motivated by hatred.”

At a 2009 symposium on “Islamophobia”, Robin Richardson, a former director of the Runnymede Trust and the editor of ‘Islamophobia: A challenge for us all,’ said that “the disadvantages of the term Islamophobia are significant” on different grounds, including that it implies it is merely a “severe mental illness” affecting “only a tiny minority of people”; that use of the term makes those to whom it is applied “defensive and defiant” and absolves the user of “the responsibility of trying to understand them” are the actual issue being described as hostility to Muslims.

White supremacy is the belief that white people are superior to those of other races and thus should dominate them. The belief favours the maintenance and defence of white power and privilege. Last week, during an impassioned speech at the House of Commons, Trudeau said: “This killing was no accident. This was a terrorist attack, motivated by hatred, in the heart of one of our communities.”

Abdus Salaam
By email

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