On Sunday 6 June 2021, a terrorist drove into and murdered four members of the same family in Ontario, Canada because they were Muslim. The youngest member of the family, nine-year old boy is the sole survivor who is in hospital in a critical condition. I am writing about it two days after this horrific incident, because it has not featured in the mainstream media much. I asked on my WhatsApp groups with Labour Party comrades if they had heard about it. The answer was overwhelmingly no!
Had the attacker been a Muslim, the story would have been plastered all over mainstream media. There would have been coverage, discussions and demands for apology from the Muslim community on the hour every hour for days. This is the double standard we see in the Western media.
Mainstream media are quick to characterise any white terrorists as lone gunmen or suffering from mental health issues. Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau has, however called out the islamophobic terrorist attack for what it is. He did not mince his words when he posted the following on social media:
“I’m horrified by the news from London, Ontario. To the loved ones of those who were terrorized by yesterday’s act of hatred, we are here for you. We are also here for the child who remains in hospital – our hearts go out to you, and you will be in our thoughts as you recover.
To the Muslim community in London and to Muslims across the country, know that we stand with you. Islamophobia has no place in any of our communities. This hate is insidious and despicable – and it must stop.”
Given the seriousness of the incident, can the lack of coverage be put down to the normalisation of violence against Muslims? In other words, Muslim lives do not really matter, because Islamophobia has become so rampant across the globe.