Interfaith march honors Muslim family killed in Canada truck attack
LONDON- Agence France-Presse
The procession started at the site where three generations of a family out for a Sunday evening stroll - 46-year-old Salman Afzaal, his 44-year-old wife Madiha Salman, their 15-year-old daughter Yumna Salman and her 74-year-old grandmother, Talat Afzaal - were killed in London, southern Ontario, as they were waiting to cross the street.
The couple’s nine-year-old son Fayez suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
The march against racism and Islamophobia culminated at London’s mosque, about 7 kilometers (4.5 miles) away.
The demonstrators, who included families with children, banged on drums while others sang John Lennon’s "Give Peace a Chance."
They held posters with messages like "Hate kills" and "We’re all human."
After a moment of silence marking the time of the tragedy, representatives from several religions gave speeches denouncing hatred and saluting the outpouring of support for London’s 30,000-strong Muslim community.
Other rallies or vigils in Canada on Friday took place in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec, where a shooting in a mosque left six dead in 2017.
The Afzaal family’s funeral is scheduled for Saturday afternoon.
Nathaniel Veltman, 20, has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder in the truck attack. If found guilty he faces life in prison.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called the assault - in which Veltman’s truck-mounted a curb and struck the Afzaal family - a "terrorist attack."
Detective Superintendent Paul Waight, who is leading the investigation, has said there was evidence "that this was a planned, premeditated act, motivated by hate."