The cold-blooded murder of four innocent members of a Muslim family in London, ON, last night has sent shock waves throughout the Muslim community in Canada.
In one of the most horrific acts of terrorism, the Muslim family was mowed down on Sunday June 6 evening as they walked along Hyde Park Road in the city’s northwest.
The only survivor was a 9-year-old child who sustained serious injuries and is in hospital.
The terrorist attack occurred as the Siddiqui family of five was walking along the road.
Originally from Pakistan, the dead included the 74-year-old mother of Salman Afzal Siddiqui, 46, who was also killed in the terrorist attack.
Other members of the family killed last night were Salman Afzal’s 44-year-old wife Madiha and their 15-year-old daughter, Yumnah.
The sole survivor, 9-year-old Faez is in hospital with serious injuries.
Nathanial Veltman, 20, of London, was arrested 10 minutes after he ploughed his black pickup truck into the family walking late yesterday evening.
He has been charged with four counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.
“Terrorism charges are also possible against the attacker” according to Detective-Inspector Paul Waight.
The London, Ont. police believe this was a targeted attack on the Muslim family.
The CBC, Canada’s premier news channel, however, was somewhat circumspect in reporting the terrorist attack.
It tactfully reported: “3 adults and 1 teen dead, child in London, Ont., hospital with serious injuries from Sunday incident.”
While the police said the family was targeted because they were Muslims and added that terrorism charges could be laid, the CBC called it simply an “incident”.
Veltman appeared in court via video link Monday afternoon.
“There is evidence that this was a planned, premeditated act and that the family was targeted because of their Muslim faith,” said Det.-Insp. Paul Waight.
“This is a devastating loss of four members of our community,” added police Chief Steve Williams at an afternoon news conference.
“These were innocent human beings who were killed simply because they were Muslim,” said Nawaz Tahir, a London lawyer and representative of the Muslim community.
Attacking and killing Muslims have become all too common in a deliberately instigated atmosphere of Islamophobia in Canada.
The London, ON, killings follow attacks on Muslim women in Alberta, the killing of a caretaker at the International Muslims Organization in Etobicoke and the massacre of worshippers at the Quebec City Mosque on January 29, 2017.
Some reports from London, ON, suggest Veltman has strong pro-Israeli sentiments and was perhaps motivated by hatred of Muslims following the recent Israeli assault on Gaza.
Crescent International is investigating this to verify the truth.