How to show support for the Muslim family in London, Ont., during weekend funeral, march

The public is invited to mourn alongside the Muslim community in London, Ont., this weekend for the lives lost in Sunday’s fatal truck attack that left four family members dead and one in hospital.

Dozens of vigils and marches are planned across Canada, including in London on Friday night.  A funeral for Salman Afzaal, 46, his wife Madiha Salman, 44, their daughter Yumna Afzaal, 15, and Salman’s mother, Talat Afzaal, 74, is being organized for Saturday, and part of it is open to the public. 

Police are describing the family’s deaths as caused by a “hate-motivated” attack based on their Muslim faith. 

The youngest member of the family, nine-year-old Fayez, survived and remains in hospital in stable condition, Saboor Khan, a friend of the family, told CBC News on Thursday.

Friday, June 11

A Multi-Faith March to End Hatred will take place on Friday, with people asked to gather at 6:45 p.m. ET on Friday. It will depart from South Carriage and Hyde Park Roads, where Sunday’s fatal attack took place, at 7 p.m. ET.

The march is expected to last until 8:45 p.m., when attendants are expected to arrive at the London Muslim Mosque at 151 Oxford Street W.

At 6 p.m., prior to the march, there will be a nationwide “Virtual Dua” for the victims, and among the speakers leading the prayers will be Imam Aarij Anwer and Ijaz Tahir, president of ICNA Canada.

Thousands attended a vigil outside the London Muslim Mosque earlier this week. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Saturday, June 12

A private visitation and burial are planned for Saturday and will be strictly for family, said Joe O’Neil, the funeral director with the O’Neil Funeral Home. There will be a public portion, at the London Islamic Centre on Pond Mills Road, at 1 p.m.

Members of the public will be able to take part in the outdoor ceremony at the Islamic Centre of London that’s expected to last an hour, said O’Neill. They’re also expected to keep physically distanced and wear masks. 

The public is also encouraged to line the procession route to show support for the family as it headsto the London Islamic Cemetery on White Oak Road.

“If anybody wants to stand along the route … the family says they’re more than welcome,” said O’Neil.

While the funeral route is open to the public, the funeral will be limited and will be “first come, first serve.”

The procession route will first go down York Street, then west toward Wellington Street, and turn onto South Wellington all the way down to Southdale Road, where it will turn east. Then, it will go right down the Pond Mills Road and turn south toward the Islamic centre. 

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