Statement of Condolence and Support for Muslim Community

Territorial Commander Floyd Tidd says "We grieve deeply the loss of life and pray for healing"
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Territorial commander condemns Islamophobia following London, Ont., attack

We were shocked and saddened by the senseless violence perpetrated upon an innocent Muslim family as they took a Sunday walk together last weekend in London, Ontario. Four family members lost their lives, and a fifth was seriously injured, when a driver struck them with his vehicle, apparently with the intent to inflict maximum harm.

We stand with the Muslim community in condemning this and all acts of hate against people of the Islamic faith. Racist attacks and attitudes have no place in our society. There is no justification for discrimination of any kind, and we firmly oppose the mistreatment of people based on their race, religion or creed. We grieve deeply the loss of life and pray for healing for the surviving son and other relatives who are facing this tragedy. Their pain is unimaginable, and we mourn along with them.

Salvation Army representatives will be attending the vigil at the London Muslim Mosque on June 8, including divisional commander, Lt-Colonel Shawn Critch, and area commander, Major Pamela Goodyear, Ontario Division, and territorial secretary for communications, Lt-Colonel John P. Murray. We do so to honour the victims and stand united against Islamophobia.

The family has released the names of the victims, and I share them as a reminder that these were people with hopes and dreams, of infinite worth to God, whose future was unjustly extinguished: Salman Afzaal, 46; his wife, Madiha Salman, 44; their daughter, Yumna Salman, 15; and Afzaal’s mother, 74. Their nine-year-old son, Fayez, suffered serious injuries but is expected to survive.

Psalm 34:14 urges us to “turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” We reach out to our Muslim brothers and sisters in a spirit of solidarity and support, believing that all people are created in God’s image and worthy of respect and dignity.

May the God of all comfort be with the family. May we work collectively as a society toward justice and peace. May we uphold our neighbours and live in harmony with each other.

Commissioner Floyd Tidd
Territorial Commander