Councillor Josh Matlow

Confronting Islamophobia and Anti-Arab Hate in our Community

Earlier this month, our nation was forced to reckon with the hate-fueled tragedy in the City of London. A Muslim family, simply out for a walk together, was viciously attacked by a driver who mounted the sidewalk with his car to kill them. This attack was horrifying, hateful, tragically deadly & heartbreaking. Unfortunately, it was not isolated. In the weeks since, the Muslim community across Canada has faced ongoing violence, including vandalism at a mosque in Edmonton and threats uttered at a mosque in Toronto. I am also sad to relay that earlier this month a resident discovered a sign at Oriole Park was vandalized with Anti-Arab graffiti. I requested City Staff to promptly remove and replace the signs. The incident has been reported to the Toronto police and investigations are ongoing.

Hate is unacceptable, criminal and will not be tolerated in our community. However, we must recognize that too often racialized and minority religious communities are made to feel unsafe in our country. I stand with the Muslim community against Islamophobia. At City Council this month, I was proud to support a motion moved by Mayor Tory to condemn Islamophobia and take steps to address its dangerous spread. Please feel free to contact my office at with further concerns, thoughts, or questions, about how we can best support the Muslim community moving forward and heal from this tragedy. If you experience or witness a hate crime, please call 416-808-3500 to connect with the Hate Crime Unit. Should you witness hateful graffiti anywhere in our city, please contact 311.

As we move forward in supporting the Canadian Muslim community, let us commit to remembering the beautiful lives of Salman Afzaal, 46,  Madiha Salman, 44,  Yumna Afzaal, 15 and Salman Afzaal, 74. May their memories be a blessing.

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