In the wake of the targeted attack on a Muslim family in London Ontario earlier this week, the SGPS, first and foremost, offers sincere condolences to the family and community members impacted by this act of terror. A brief tribute to Talat Afzaal, Salman Afzaal, Yumna Afzaal, and Madiha Salman (who was a PhD student in environmental engineering at Western University) can be found here. Secondly, we want to ensure appropriate support for any of our members who are feeling adversely impacted by this event. Should you need support, please reach out to one or more of the following:
A Message of Encouragement for Allies
Finally, these tragic and senseless deaths remind us of the urgency with which we must combat Islamophobia (and other forms of group-hate) that exist, overtly or subtly, in our society, our institutions, our communities, and our personal relationships. The Afzaal family were out together for an evening walk, a pastime many of us have taken up during the pandemic. For such a walk to end with the murder of 4 individuals spanning 3 generations and leaving only a 9 year old child alive to grapple with the cruelty of such terrorism is a reality and responsibility we all share. We must all be accountable for the role we play in a society where such violence is not only historical, but can and does occur in the present. For our members who wish to learn more, we strongly encourage you to go to Islamophobia Is, which has an excellent resource page. We also encourage you to reach out with messages of support to your Muslim colleagues and friends who may be grieving, isolated, and scared.