Halifax girl says London, Ont. assault exhibits how actual Islamophobia is 

2021-06-09 13:30:14

On a lovely sunny day, Masuma Khan was taking a stroll at a park in Halifax when she came upon by a pal {that a} household of 4 was killed and focused for being Muslim in London, Ont.

The murdered household was taking a stroll, too, when the motive force of a black pickup truck mounted the sidewalk and struck the relations Sunday night, in response to the native police.

The victims have been recognized as Salman Afzaal, 46, his 44-year-old spouse Madiha Salman, their 15-year-old daughter Yumna Afzaal and Afzaal’s 74-year-old mom.

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9-year-old Fayez Afzaal suffered severe however non-life-threatening accidents.

“My abdomen simply began aching, like I felt ache. And I began fascinated by how that might have been any one among us. That might have been any of our households,” stated Khan in a Zoom interview with International Information.

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A photograph of Malcolm X, an African-American Muslim minister and human rights activist, and a poster that includes a lady sporting the hijab may be seen held on the partitions of Khan’s room as she described how she felt.

Khan stated what occurred made her really feel so indignant as a result of she seems like lots of people play down the realities of Islamophobia.

“Usually we’re advised that the type of violence that Muslims face for practising their religion is justified based mostly off of stereotypes of Muslims,” she stated.

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The methods these stereotypes, equivalent to believing Muslims are oppressed or carrying some type of weapon beneath their garments, is an enormous situation that Khan is ready to debate reside on Instagram on Thursday night.

By the Abolish The Police-HFX group’s web page, Khan will likely be internet hosting an “Islamophobia Kills” on-line teach-in devoted to the Muslim household in London, Ont.

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She will likely be speaking with Muslims throughout Canada about their expertise and the way non-Muslims can do higher, with the chat scheduled to happen at 7 p.m.

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“The truth is although there could also be individuals who see me and deal with me with respect, of their hearts of hearts, they’ve this bias. And that type of bias must be deconstructed. It must be unlearned. Like, the place is that this coming from?” stated Khan.

“Ideas like, ‘You don’t need to be right here,’ or ‘Return to the place you got here from.’ The truth is … that we’re right here as a result of we now have no selection. We’re right here as a result of our homelands aren’t secure as a result of colonialism, as a result of imperialism, as a result of wars, and all these things that we now have been displaced right here,” she added.

Khan, who was born and raised in Halifax, stated she has been coping with Islamophobia her entire life, even earlier than she wore the Hijab.

“My first expertise of Islamophobia was after I was 4 years previous … somebody was yelling at my dad, calling him a foreigner and telling him to depart,” she stated.

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Then 9/11 occurred, and children would come into the household’s former retailer in Springfield and ask them the place they had been hiding Osama bin Laden and make different Islamophobic remarks.

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“My first 12 months sporting hijab, , that was the primary menace of violence I obtained simply strolling across the Halifax Procuring Centre. And this older teenager comes as much as me saying that they wish to shank me as a result of I’m sporting the headscarf on my head, which she really known as a rag,” stated Khan.

“Then I began doing extra group organizing, and I began getting loss of life threats and rape threats and really dangerous messages.”

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That type of expertise made it arduous being a visibly Muslim individual “as a result of the entire world is peddling these stereotypes about you,” Khan stated.

However she has realized to like herself even on arduous days.

“As a lot as Islamophobia has harmed me in my life, it’s additionally formed who I’m and it’s made me join with my religion in a more healthy approach as a result of I’m in a position to perceive the place these stereotypes come from and know that that’s not what my religion is about,” she Khan.

She stated she has additionally obtained a lot love from the Mi’kmaq, African-Nova Scotian and different racialized communities as a result of they know what it’s prefer to face this sort of oppression, and that helped her cope with it higher.

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“All of our liberations are related and none of us will likely be free till all of us are free. So Islamophobia is inherently tied to racism and white supremacy and xenophobia and all these items. You may’t sort out one with out the opposite,” Khan stated.

She stated it’s time for folks to face up in opposition to ultra-right discourses and concepts, and to teach themselves on how Islamophobia works.

If somebody is questioning what they’ll do to help Muslims, Khan means that they take an excellent take a look at their very own circle of buddies and neighbours.

“Why is it that you don’t have any one in your life that you simply love or care about that’s Muslim? Why don’t you’ve belief with a Muslim individual?” stated Khan.

“Possibly you must do some unlearning so that you could open up your coronary heart sufficient to truly love a Muslim individual as a result of we deserve that, too,” she added.

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Khan stated that if you happen to see a visibly Muslim individual or somebody who has a Muslim identify, take the time to say their identify appropriately and to smile at them.

“A Muslim will smile again at you. It’s a part of our religion,” she stated. “We’re not this group of extremist folks which can be making an attempt to deliver Sharia to Canada…We’re simply making an attempt to reside.

“The best factor you are able to do is help our existence and dismantle Islamophobia with us.”

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Supply by [earlynews24.com]