Hate crime of Muslim killing in London Ontario Canada

A 20 year old Canadian driver ploughed a pickup truck into a Muslim family of five, killing four and seriously injuring the fifth in an attack in the Ontario city of London which has been described as “hate crime” by the Canadian police.

Police later arrested the young driver,  Nathaniel Veltman 20, in the parking lot of a nearby mall. In the attack, his truck mounted a kerb and struck and ran over the victims at an intersection.

“This was an act of mass murder perpetuated against Muslims,” London Mayor Ed Holder told the media.

“It was rooted in unspeakable hatred. The magnitude of such hatred can make one question who we were as a city.”

Among the victims were a 74-year-old woman, a 46-year-old man, a 44-year-old woman and a 15-year-old girl.

A 9-year-old boy is reported to be in a serious condition in the hospital.

In just one instance of crime the young drive has wiped out three generations of the family.

Nathaniel Veltman, is now facing four counts of first-degree murder for killing four Canadian Muslims he did not know.

Detective Supt. Paul Waight of London said the police do not know if Veltman was a member of a particular hate group. He said London police are working various theories including potential terrorism charges.

He declined to provide details pointing to a possible hate crime, but asserted the attack was planned.

“We believe the victims were targeted because of their Islamic faith,” London Police Chief Stephen Williams said. “We understand that this event may cause fear and anxiety in the community, particularly in the Muslim community, in any community targeted by hate … There is no tolerance in this community who are motivated by hate target others with violence.”

The Canadian Muslim community is horrified. Sana Saeed wrote on Twitter:

“Canada is not a liberal, multicultural haven just because we have healthcare, gun laws & brown people in government. Canada is built on hatred – the recently unearthed 215 bodies of indigenous children and last night’s hate crime killing a Muslim family are testament to that”.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his anger on Twitter. He wrote:

I’m horrified by the news from London, Ontario. To the loved ones of those who were terrorized by yesterday’s act of hatred, we are here for you. We are also here for the child who remains in hospital – our hearts go out to you, and you will be in our thoughts as you recover.

“To the Muslim community in London and to Muslims across the country, know that we stand with you. Islamophobia has no place in any of our communities. This hate is insidious and despicable — and it must stop,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau added.

Jagmeet Singh, an Indian origin high profile Canadian politician has also expressed outrage over this hate crime of Muslim killing.

Zahid Khan, a family friend, said the three generations among the dead were a grandmother, father, mother and teenage daughter. The family had immigrated from Pakistan 14 years ago and were dedicated, decent and generous members of the London Muslim Mosque, The Washington Post reported.

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“They were just out for their walk that they would go out for every day,” Khan said through tears near the site of the crash. “I just wanted to see.”

The National Council of Canadian Muslims said it was beyond horrified, saying Muslims in Canada have become all too familiar with the violence of Islamophobia.

“This is a terrorist attack on Canadian soil, and should be treated as such,″ council head Mustafa Farooq said.

The local mayor of London issued a statement on Twitter in an attempt to reassure the local Muslim community and taking a clear stand against hate crime and violence.

The local London community of more than 400,000 residents has between 30,000 to 40,000 Muslims. Flags would be lowered for three days as a mark of respect for the victims.

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