Thousands of people gathered outside a mosque on Tuesday night in a vigil for the family that was intentionally attacked in a targeted hate crime in London Ont., on Sunday evening.
In attendance were leaders of all of Canada's federal parties, Ontario's provincial leaders and London, Ont.'s municipal officials.
"There are no words that can ease the grief of having three generations murdered in their neighbourhood, there are no words that can undo the pain, and yes, the anger of this community, there are no words that can fix the future of that little boy who has had his future taken away," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at the vigil. "But know this, you are not alone, all Canadians mourn with you and stand with you tonight and always."
"Islamophobia is real, racism is real. You should have to face that hate in your communities, in your country. We can and we will act. We can and we will choose a better way."Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
"This was a terrorist attack, an act of mass murder, and a grotesque expression of hatred rooted in Islamophobia," London Mayor Ed Holder said in his statement.
"We now live in a time, and in a place, where thousands of Muslims — our family members, neighbours, friends, and co-workers — the next time they're out for a walk, and through no fault of their own, may be looking over their shoulders."
Several people took to social media to react to the vigil.
A lady approached me at the vigil & with tears flowing, handed me some flowers & apologized for my pain. Before I could speak, a random man came to console her & we all broke down. Three strangers just stood together & cried. A sad & beautiful moment I will never forget #LdnOnt
— Ali Chahbar (@AliChahbar) June 9, 2021
My dad stood up by himself to observe a moment of silence in front of the TV while the vigil in London was broadcasting
My heart is breaking for everyone grieving alone right now💔#ldnont
— dia • দিয়া✨😷 (@diarahmanTO) June 9, 2021
Attended the heartbreaking vigil tonight in our #LdnOnt after a senseless act of terror. Great to see the community come together tonight BUT real systemic change needs to happen to stop these tragedies from occurring time and time again #OurLondonFamily pic.twitter.com/OXsArPtxE8
— Rahul Verma (@RahulVermaMD) June 9, 2021
— Kamil Karamali (@KamilKaramali) June 9, 2021
Watching tonight's vigil for #OurLondonFamily in #ldnont feels surreal. Politicians standing in front of mosque steps - steps I have sat on countless times, steps I know too well. Watching friends & community members sharing remarks & all the familiar faces in the crowd. No words
— Sherine Fahmy (@Sherine_Fahmy) June 9, 2021
Some took issue with Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole, in particular, participating after he voted again a 2017 motion (M-103) on systemic racism and religious discrimination, and to condemn Islamophobia.
"We have to commit ourselves to working across party lines with premiers, with mayors, with faith leaders to end the kind of violence and hatred that rook these lives," O'Toole said at the vigil.
"The rise in Islamophobia and other forms of hate this last year are the pandemic of darkness mid the COVID-19 pandemic. We know the Muslim community is stronger than this or any act of terrorism committed against you. We know the city of London is stronger than this or any act of terrorism."
— NCCM (@nccm) June 9, 2021
Ginella just said how can Erin O'Toole stand up there after he voted against condemning Islamophobia?
He was one of about 90 MPs who refused to condemn it in a vote.
And now he thinks he can speak to the community in a moment of grief after a mass murder? pic.twitter.com/T11yP5qpsd
— Mike Gibbs🏳️🌈 (@Mikeggibbs) June 8, 2021
— Tania🍷 (@Mommy2JandB) June 9, 2021
I’m not sure what ‘commitment’ @erinotoole is referring to.
In 2017, the Federal gov’t passed @IqraKhalidMP’s motion condemning Islamophobia and “all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination.”
91 Conservative MPs voted AGAINST the motion, including Erin O’Toole. pic.twitter.com/8JDLJ4WmdI
— Adam Lockett (@AdamLockett34) June 9, 2021
Some Canadians also called out Doug Ford, who was met with boos as he approached the podium on Tuesday night.
"It was an act of terrorism against a family targeted for their beliefs and for their religion," Ford said. "This type of racism and terrorism cannot and will not be tolerated."
"It must be condemned in the strongest terms and those who commit this type of evil must and will be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
Jagmeet Singh received a loud and lengthy applause and cheers when he stepped up to the podium at the London mosque vigil.
Erin O’Toole was booed. Doug Ford was booed even more. #cdnpoli #ldnont pic.twitter.com/mpC6Y6PVfL
— Kamil Karamali (@KamilKaramali) June 9, 2021
I didn’t want to tweet this in the middle of the vigil, but Doug Ford telling Muslims he has their back while actively employing Nick Kouvalis — who once proudly ran a xenophobic campaign for political gain — was a bit much.
— Asif Hossain (@asifintoronto) June 9, 2021
You’ve gotta know you’re doing something Right when you get booed at a vigil.
— Barney Panofsky's Best Intentions (@mynamesnotgordy) June 9, 2021
People still continue to call for more action on systemic racism in Canada, including policy decisions.
Sign this petition to join NCCM's call for all levels of government – federal, provincial, territorial, municipal – to come together for a National Action Summit on Islamophobia to dismantle both violent forms of Islamophobia and systemic Islamophobia. #ourlondonfamily pic.twitter.com/4SOZ61d9Kq
— NCCM (@nccm) June 8, 2021
— Kelley Thomson (@kelley_UW) June 9, 2021
Thousands of people came for the vigil in support of the Muslim community in London Ontario #ldnont. Heartening, yes, but also enraging. Pictures and words are nice, but action is needed.
— Dr. Savita Dhanvantari (@sdhanvan) June 9, 2021