Canada: 2021 Muslim Family Truck Attack Trial Begins

    Canada: 2021 Muslim Family Truck Attack Trial Begins
    Last updated Sep 12, 2023
    Image credit: Wikimedia Commons


    • On Monday, Federal prosecutors in Canada began their opening arguments against a defendant facing murder charges for the deaths of four members of a Muslim family, claiming the event was motivated by white nationalism as part of an act of terrorism.
    • On June 6, 2021, five individuals spanning three generations of the same family were hit by a black pickup truck when it drove onto the curb in London, Ontario. The driver of the truck has been named as Nathaniel Veltman, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
    • Ontario Superior Court in Windsor heard on Monday that footage of the event appears to show Veltman's truck veering to the right five seconds before impact. Those killed were Yumnah Afzaal, 15; Madiha Salman, 44; Salman Afzaal, 46; and Talk Afzaal, 74.
    • The fifth individual, a boy aged 9, suffered serious injuries. It's alleged that Veltman told police after his arrest that he had planned to "go on a rampage" and he "want[ed] the world to know what [he] did."
    • The manifesto of Brenton Tarrant, who killed 51 people at a Mosque in New Zealand in 2019, was reportedly found in his apartment, and several knives and an air gun were also found in the truck.
    • The case is the first time a Canadian jury is hearing legal arguments for white supremacy-based terrorism, with the victims of the attack being of Pakistani-Canadian origins.


    Progressive narrative

    Islamophobia in Canada has continued to rise in recent years, taking shape as both overt and blatant acts of violence as well as subtle and cynical forms of behavior within Canada's political and journalist realms. Domestic terrorism against Muslims must be acknowledged in the courts as so, and until such behavior is legally viewed in this manner, Canada will remain, for many, a country of hate.

    Conservative narrative

    While the tragedy of what occurred in London, Ontario, is clear for all to witness, it's supposed to be the judicial court, not the court of political and public opinion, making a decision on the nature of the crime. More importantly, this heinous — but isolated — act isn't representative of the entire nation, which has worked diligently to prosecute and prevent such horrific crimes.

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