Sarnia drive-thru tribute planned to honour London family

Journal Staff

A drive-through event will be held at the Sarnia Mosque on Friday, June 11 to honour four members a Muslim family murdered in London on Sunday in what police are calling a hate crime.

A fifth member of the family, a nine-year-old boy, remains in hospital

The event was organized following an overwhelming number of requests from the community for a way to express their shared grief, the Sarnia Muslim Associations said today.

The event is from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 1609 London Line. Participants will be directed by traffic wardens to drive through the parking lot of the Mosque where they can leave messages and flowers, briefly share their thoughts, or honk in tribute to the victims, the Association said.

Due to provincial restrictions, visitors are required to remain in their vehicles.

Salman Afzaal, 46, his wife Madiha Salman, 44, their daughter Yumna Afzaal, 15, and Salman’s mother, Talat Afzaal, 74, were killed when the driver of a pickup truck mounted the curb and struck them at an intersection.

Nine-year-old Fayez Afzaal survived and remains in hospital.

The family moved to Canada from Pakistan in 2007.

In a statement, the Sarnia Muslim Association said it is grateful to the wider community for its messages of support and solidarity in recent days.

“Like some of you, we are unable to understand this kind of hate and anger. Many of us have been in this community of Sarnia for decades with some arriving over the past few years,” it said.

“We have mostly felt welcome but have also dealt with the eye of suspicion and loathing. Despite this incident making our community feel vulnerable to walk the streets of Sarnia we still feel the overwhelming need to express our sadness at this tragedy. “

A London man has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.