Lloydminster residents are standing shoulder to shoulder in support of a slain Muslim family from London, Ontario. The June 6 attack has left a family broken and a nine-year old boy orphaned.
Young Fayez Afzaal has been released from hospital where he was being treated for serious injuries sustained in the attack on his family. His sister and parents were killed by a truck driver in what police describe as a hate-motivated attack because of their Muslim faith.
Imam Saqib Mahmood Zafar head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Lloydminster led a memorial vigil on the steps of City Hall on Monday evening, as the community gathered to reflect and show their support for the Afzaal family.
“It is our responsibility to acknowledge each other as human beings. That all lives matter, no matter the faith, religion, or race, or skin. Our religion should not divide us. If anything your religion is supposed to bring you together and closer to other human beings.”
Lloydminster MLA Colleen Young was present to support the community and stressed the government’s commitment against intolerance.
“The Government of Saskatchewan does not tolerate racism, discrimination, intolerance [and] bigotry of any kind. This shows that we are there to support our community, even though this is an incident that happened in London, Ontario, it could have just as easily happened here in our community and we don’t want that to happen ever.”
Councilor Michael Diachuk who also attended the vigil was impressed with the proceedings.
“I think it’s a very nice ceremony and certainly thanks go out to the Ahmadiyya Muslims for sponsoring this event and bringing people out. Their motto, ‘love for all and hatred for none’, it can’t be more appropriate now, particularly under these circumstances.”
The head of the Lloydminster Muslim Community maintains their message of love and condemns the attack.
“We have been advocating, peace, compassion and love for all. At the same time, we condemn any sort of attack, any violence of any sort.”
The vigil concluded with a minute of silent reflection.