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Monday, September 20, 2021

Qatar condemns hate crime against Muslim family in Canada

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A 20-year-old driver in Canada intentionally rammed into a family for being ‘Muslims’.

Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) strongly condemned the murder of a Muslim family in Canada, in a statement released on Tuesday.

“The State of Qatar’s firm position of rejecting violence, terrorism, and criminal acts, regardless of the motives and reasons,” a statement said.

Four family members were killed at an intersection in the Canadian city of London, Ontario on Sunday, leaving behind a single 9-year-old child who survived the attack.

“There is evidence that this was a planned, premeditated act, motivated by hate. It is believed that these victims were targeted because they were Muslim,” said Detective Superintendent Paul Waight of the London Police. 

“There is no known previous connection between the suspect and the victims,” the detective stated in a news conference a day after the horrific incident. 

Among the victims, two women aged 74 and 44 were killed, the older of which died at the scene on Sunday night. The 44-year-old died at the hospital along with a 46-year-old man and 15-year-old girl, police said. 

The family’s only survivor is a 9-year-old boy who is still under intensive care at the hospital. Police confirmed his condition is serious but not life-threatening.

The family of the victims requested officials not to release any names for now.

In its statement, Doha expressed its condolences to the “families of the victims, the government, and people of Canada.”

The suspected killer, 20-year-old Nathaniel Veltman, was caught and arrested by the police at a parking lot in a shopping centre. He now faced  four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.

London Police are working on the case with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on potential terrorism charges against the driver.

“We understand that this event may cause fear and anxiety in the community, and in particular the Muslim community, in any community targeted by hate. I want to reassure all Londoners that all of us on the call today and many others stand with you and support you,” London Police Chief Steve Williams said. 

“There is no tolerance in this community for individuals who, motivated by hate, target others with violence.”

Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, addressed the family of the victims saying “to the loved ones of those who were terrorised by yesterday’s act of hatred, we are here for you. We are also here for the child who remains in hospital -our hearts go out to you, and you will be in our thoughts as you recover.”

In a later tweet, Trudeau said authorities will “use every tool we have to combat Islamophobia”.


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