Canada’s anti-Islamophobia rep on Veltman verdict | Power Play with Vassy Kapelos



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Throughout the trial jurors heard that veltman sought to Target Muslims leaving a Manifesto before the attack detailing exactly that but for more rather on the impact the case has had here in Canada the federal government special representative on combating islamophobia Amira Al Gabi is with

Us hi Miss alabi good to see you back here thank you very much for making the time thank you so much fashy the jury took only about six hours to deliberate and arrive at this verdict what does that say to you well I think this decisive verdict really speaks to the

Horror of what the jury was listening to over the past few months in this trial they clearly were responding to the fact that the accused himself admitted to deliberately killing this family deliberately doing so because of their Muslim identity so it’s a real important moment to recognize that the jury didn’t

Waste time in delivering a very decisive verdict in this case and it provides some level of of relief I was going to ask you um just in that vein if and I was listening to everyone as they exited the courtroom talk about there be some measure of relief from the fact that the

Justice system did arrive at the conclusion it did do do you share in a bit of that Rel as much as can be possible I guess absolutely I think the moment that many of us you know heard the verdict I was actually in a meeting with a member of the London Muslim

Community in that moment and we both were sort of oh it’s about to be released and just waited and the moment that we heard that it was guilty on all counts it was both tears and and that huge sense of relief because first and foremost we’re

Thinking about um the family uh of the offel family you know how they have had to endure this trial have they have had to listen to all these details and to imagine that there wouldn’t be a conclusive decision was very very worrisome for all of us and then to see

That Justice indeed to that extent had been served the justice system resp responded um in this case and demonstrated that no one should you know get away with murder and no one should ever uh be able to just deliberately take away you know four members of this

One family all in one Fell Swoop the details of the trial that you reference I think for any of us paying attention are unimaginable to listen to particularly the degree to which there was planning involved in this the the reason that he targeted this family the fact that you know just by their

Appearance he was able to identify them as Muslims again like for anyone watching it and listening to it it’s been hard I know you though have been in contact all these years with that Community with the friends and family of the victims what was that process like for

Them I mean as anyone can imagine uh the the losing your family members in such a horrific way I just want to take your viewers back fashy if I may to that night so it was this beautiful Sunday evening it was June 2021 we were still

In the pandemic as many of us will remember some of the ways that we could sort of spend time with each other was going on walks and so this family was going on a walk and some of the video footage that emerged in the trial you could actually see uh the little boy

Skipping along with his parents with his older sister and his grandmother just like many of us did during that time kind of it was a time that brought many families even closer to together and all of a sudden within a day we heard oh this family had had been hit by a truck

And no one actually knew what exactly had happened and very quickly it was made known to the public through the police that this was actually a hate motivated attack and the ripples of fear that went throughout our communities um where you know that the shock not only

For the community for the family of having lost you know four members of a family grandmother parents and and a sister and the young boy who was injured but has survived that shock and then added and compounded by the reality that this was a message crime this was a

Crime deliberately aimed at seeking to cause fear and hatred uh amongst the population towards Muslims to sort of create that idea that Muslims are not welcome in Canada that this individual with his sick twisted logic you know fueled by and informed by um other types of narratives that he’d found on online

You know he talked about in the trial having been um inspired if that’s even a word to describe the way he looked at what happened in New Zealand in Christ Church with a 2019 Massacre there of 51 worshippers at a mosque that those are the kinds of ideas he was fueled by

White nationalist ideology he was worried about immigrants and felt that he had to do something about it and to realize that he’ deliberately done that um was was just such a shock and and remained not just for from Muslims across Canada but fellow Canadians as well the jury it’s sort of an

Interesting uh way in which they were to arrive according to the judge at their verdict in that they could use you know that deliberate nature of the crime if they so in fact believe that to to derrive at a guilty verdict but also they could be informed by other charges

Which relate to terrorism terrorism charges to to put it bluntly we don’t know yet what led to their decision the judge May reflect on that in the sentencing is there any doubt in your mind that this was an act of terrorism I think it’s clear that it was an act of

Terrorism he was clearly motivated by ideologically uh inspired views with regards to Muslims and so his intent to send a message to our communities definitely underscores that way of viewing it not just a random family being targeted but a message that was being sent in order to cause fear so in

My mind in the minds of many fellow Canadians no doubt this was terrorism and we’ve seen sadly in Canada that this was not the first mass killing of Muslims we saw a mass killing of Muslims in Quebec City in 2017 we saw the murder of a of a Muslim volunteer in Toronto

Also during the pandemic so sadly Canada has had the distinction of having the highest number of deadly islamophobic attacks of any other G7 country so we also need to take a moment to realize that you know these types of deadly attacks you know represent the very worst manifestation of islamophobia and

It’s in fact why there was a push for an islamophobia Summit and a push to create this role within the federal government to say we need as a society to understand what are the ways in which islamophobia can manifest of course the very worst is is a type of situation

Like this where we lose four beautiful members of the London family and and of Canadians but also sort of the everyday incidents that happen hateful discrimination bias we need as a society um fellow Canadians to come together to say this is not okay we have to figure

Out ways to ensure that a very strong message is sent to anyone who Harbors such divisive and dangerous views um and I think that message was sent today in this verdict okay I’ll leave it there I appreciate you spending some of your time to reflect on that verdict and the

Significance of it with us today thanks Miss ala Wabi thank you vashi

Amira Elghawaby, the anti-Islamophobia rep, weighs in on the ‘decisive’ Veltman verdict and what it signals.

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  1. Imagine the Canadian government using taxpayers money to pay someone 160 000$ plus to lament about islamophobia.
    What a racket.
    What a weird place Canada has become

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