Letter campaign aims to support Afzaal family and fight Islamophobia

A Toronto-based artist is hoping to get Canadians involved in a letter writing campaign to honor London, Ont.’s Afzaal family, and help defeat Islamopobia.

It comes as the one year anniversary approaches, marking the horrific attack that claimed four members of the family last June.

“It dearly affected me as well,” said @studentAsim, the campaign organizer. “So this is my way of doing something about it. I think that this opportunity creates connections.”

the Write a Letter of Remembrance for Our London Family campaign has letters coming in from across Canada.

Among the many heartfelt messages, Lynne from London said, “My promise to you is that I will remember their light and will allow it to guide me to be the best neighbor and community member I can.”

Toronto-based artist @studentAsim during an April 2022 Zoom interview. (Bryan Bicknell/CTV News via Zoom)

While Adel in Vancouver, BC wrote, “We are all with you and behind you, every step of the way…day by day.”

Natasha in Whitby, Ont. said, “Our country is one that celebrates diversity and this tragic act of terrorism and hate does not represent Canada.”

@studentAsim said he hopes the campaign helps bring people of different backgrounds together.

“You’ve done something about it, you’ve written it, you’ve reflected about this,” he added. “And I think that in the future you’ll carry this with you. And as you read other letters on the platform I think it will create a shift.”

City of London, Ont. Councilor Mariam Hamou. (Bryan Bicknell/CTV News via Zoom)Among the campaign’s supporters is Mariam Hamou, London’s first female Muslim city councillor. She said she believes no municipality has done more to fight Islamophobia than London, in the wake of last year’s tragedy.

“You see how Islamophobia didn’t just hurt Muslims, it hurt London,” she said. “It hurts us so, so much. And I think that if you take something like a letter writing campaign you have an audience from everybody in the community, and it creates this collective space of healing.”

The letters are posted to the campaign website for anyone to read. The campaign aims to receive as many letters as possible for the first anniversary of the incident on June 6.

Those wishing to submit a letter or read the posted letters can do so on the campaign website.

Leave a Comment