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We Stand with Our London Family

I was born and raised in London, Ontario as a Muslim woman. I didn’t really connect with my culture growing up. I somewhat hid where I was from because I experienced so much hatred and racism. I was teased and bullied. I even painted myself with Liquid Paper because I wanted so badly to be white, believing this was the only way to fit in. As I reached adulthood, I ended up immersing myself in work and giving back to my community, and never really spoke of my culture.

When a brutal, cowardly and brazen act of violence took place on Sunday, June 6th to a beautiful Muslim family in London, I was taken back to my childhood, and everything my family went through. It makes me so very angry that this racism is still going on.  My heart broke when I heard young Muslim girls at the family’s vigil saying they were too scared to wear their hijabs. 

This loving family was just out on a stroll, not knowing this would be the last time they would ever be together on this earth. It hits me very hard that this could have been me and my son out for a walk in our city. A mother, father, daughter and grandmother were taken away from their community. This was a family that worked night and day, and gave to their community. And not just to the Muslim community, but to the general Canadian community. My heart goes out to Fayez, a nine year old boy who has been tragically left without his family. 

During her time at the London Islamic School, Fayez’s sister, Yumna, painted a beautiful and meaningful mural with her mother, Madiha. The words “Learn. Lead. Inspire.” were drawn along the top. May all Canadians be inspired by “our London family” to have LOVE FOR ALL AND HATRED FOR NONE.

Sabina Manji, a lifelong Londoner, is an irrepressible entrepreneur, mother of a wonderful son, and also a committed volunteer.


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