Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned on Tuesday a terrorist attack targeting a Muslim family in Ontario, Canada, which was also denounced by Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who called it a “hate crime” directed at Muslims.
A pickup truck killed five members of the Muslim family, including the parents, two children and a grandmother as they were walking in the evening in London, Ontario. The only survivor was a 9-year-old boy who is now hospitalized.
“Egypt expresses its condolences to the families of the innocent victims, and hopes for a speedy recovery for the injured child,” the Ministry said in a statement, adding that it stands with Canada in condemning this terrorist incident, and reiterating that Egypt rejects all acts of terrorism, violence and extremism, as well as all hate and racist crimes.
“This was a terrorist attack, motivated by hatred, in the heart of one of our communities,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a speech in front of the parliament. “If anyone thinks racism and hatred don’t exist in this country, I want to say this: How do we explain such violence to a child in a hospital? How can we look families in the eye and say ‘Islamophobia isn’t real?’”
The man accused of the hate crime, Nathaniel Veltman, 20, was arrested, facing four counts of first-degree murder. Police noted that Veltman did not know the victims, though he stated that the attack was planned and that he chose his victims because they were Muslim.
“There is evidence that this was a planned, premeditated act and that the family was targeted because of their Muslim faith,” said Detective Superintendent Paul Waight of the London Police at a news conference.
The police added that they were consulting the attorney general and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police about terrorism charges, The New York Times reports.
Despite being a multicultural and diverse country, police reported 1,946 criminal incidents in Canada that were motivated by hate in 2019. Last September, a 58-year-old Muslim man was stabbed outside a Toronto mosque by attacker Guilherme Von Neutegem, who was running social media accounts with neo-Nazi statements.