CM – Father of man charged with anti-Muslim attack in London, Ontario calls it « pointless act »


The Canadian press

The father of a man charged with the fatal attack on a Muslim family in southwestern Ontario describes the incident as a « pointless act ».

Mark Veltman says it was an « unspeakable crime » and there are no words to properly express his grief for the victims.

Twenty-year-old Nathaniel Veltman made a brief virtual appearance in court this morning to answer four first-degree murder and one attempted murder.

Veltman, wearing an orange t-shirt and orange pants with a blue mask, spoke calmly and clearly from the Elgin Middlesex Detention Center.

Relatives have identified 46-year-old Salman Afzaal, his 44-year-old wife Madiha Salman, their 15-year-old daughter Yumna Salman and their 74-year-old grandmother Talat Afzaal.

« I only spoke to them, » said Veltman, adding that he was talking to a local law firm.

The court found that the Crown continues to work on the disclosure that will be made available to Veltman once he has hired an attorney.

The National Council for Canadian Muslims has a petition signed by more than 35,000 people calling on all levels of government to fight Islamophobia.

« This loss of a family, the loss of a child in our community due to Islamophobia – this is a grief that will be deeply rooted for a long time, » the council wrote in the petition. « Let this grief be the ground on which we stand up for justice and change. »

The group’s petition recalls an appeal by the London Muslim Mosque, which the family belonged to.

Makeshift memorial in London, Ontario. after a Muslim family was killed in an allegedly hateful attack. (Daryl Newcombe / CTV London)

Makeshift memorial in London, Ontario. after a Muslim family was killed in an allegedly hateful attack. (Daryl Newcombe / CTV London)

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