Hundreds of people gathered at the Saskatchewan Legislature Wednesday to take a stand against Islamophobia after the vicious attack Sunday in London, Ontario that killed four members of the same family.
Delegates from the Islamic community, the province, and the city all spoke against the heinous attack and demanded people take action to prevent future violence.
Director of Regina Huda School, Dr. Ayman Aboguddah says attacks like these aren’t part of the Canada many Muslims immigrated to be a part of.
“This is not the Canada we cherish, this is not the Canada we are proud of, this is not the real Canada,” said Aboggudah. “Someone is trying to tarnish the beautiful face of this country, someone is trying to sabotage the peace and harmony among us and among all Canadians. We will not allow this to happen, or to have the upper hand.”
Aboguddah says racism is a learned behaviour and the best way to beat it is through education.
Regina Mayor Sandra Masters says Islamophobia and racism will never be acceptable in Regina, and the city is a better place with the Muslim community in it.
“We share in your collective grief and commitment towards inclusivity,” said Masters. “We are all richer for you calling Regina home, we are richer for your family, your faith, and your love.”
Masters says family is at the heart of every community, and she can’t imagine the hole left in the heart of London.
Regina Police Chief Evan Bray says racism and Islamophobia are alive and well in Canada, and it’s up to non-minority people to stop it.
“If you are like me and you were born and raised in this community or this country, and your skin looks like mine, we have an extra responsibility,” said Bray. “You’re here tonight making a commitment no different than I am. My commitment is not only on behalf of the Regina Police Service, it’s on behalf of the citizens of this community, this province, and this country. I love you, and I appreciate you choosing this as your home, and we’re here to fight for you, for continued peace and safety.”
Politicians from both sides of the floor also condemned the attacks, saying they’ll do everything in their power to prevent similar attacks from happening again.
Many in the crowd were hoping the vigil serves as more than just lip service and that serious action is taken.