FILE – People carry and load the casket into a hearse during the funeral of Mohamed-Aslim Zafis in Toronto on Wednesday, September 16, 2020. Police say Zafis was killed by an unknown suspect while he sat outside the mosque as he controlled entry to the building in order to comply with public health protocols. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Human rights groups ask feds for plan to deal with white supremacy in Canada

They also called on all political parties to help counter such groups

A coalition of multifaith human rights organizations urged the prime minister Monday to come up with a plan to dismantle white supremacist groups across the country.

The open call to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau comes in wake of the death of a 58-year-old man who was fatally stabbed outside the International Muslim Organization mosque in Toronto last month.

The mosque has asked police to investigate the death of Mohamed-Aslim Zafis as a hate crime. The head of the Toronto police homicide squad said last month that while investigators had no immediate evidence the stabbing was motivated by hate, it was a possibility.

The organizations that wrote to Trudeau said the government needs to take action to prevent such incidents in the future.

“Canadians, whether from Indigenous, Black, Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, Christian, or other faith and racialized communities have faced attacks on our homes, our places of worship, and our congregants at the hands of white supremacist organizations,” they wrote.

The organizations that signed the letter include the National Council of Canadian Muslims, the World Sikh Organization, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, Amnesty International and the Canadian Anti-Hate Network.

They asked the federal government to develop an action plan to dismantle white supremacy groups. They also called on all political parties to help counter such groups.

“We look forward to ongoing dialogue with the government to ensure that action be taken now,” the groups wrote.

Police said last month that Zafis was seemingly attacked at random as he sat outside the mosque on Sept 12.

William Von Neutegem has been charged with first-degree murder in Zafis’ death.

Investigators said last month that there was no known motive or relationship between the victim and the accused.

The Canadian Anti-Hate Network alleges that social media accounts under the name William Von Neutegem show a chant and symbol on YouTube associated with a neo-Nazi group that encourages killings. It also alleges an account with the same name follows a white supremacist on Twitter. The Canadian Press has not verified that the accounts belong to the accused.

Von Neutegem is set to return to court on Nov. 5.

Liam Casey, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Racial injusticewhite supremacist

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A surveillance camera in a photo posted to the Project Iris page on surrey.rcmp-grc.gc.ca.
Quality surveillance video helps catch crooks, Surrey Mounties say

Charges laid in connection to break-and-enter in Guildford area

(Photo: Twitter@SurreyRCMP)
Surrey Mounties, pet owners, bracing for Halloween

Last year the Surrey RCMP received 147 fireworks complaints on Diwali and 121 on Halloween

Sources volunteers face off at the organization’s ‘Enchanted’ gala – one as a fairy and the other as her magic-mirror reflection – held in 2019. (Tiffany Kwong photo)
‘Rising infections’ prompts move to virtual Sources gala

Silent auction, raffle opens to public at 9 a.m. Oct. 30

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Teachers, staff should be included in contact tracing: Surrey Teachers’ Association president

STA says there is also ‘no harm in going even further’ with a mask mandate

Signage outside of Mount Olive Lutheran Church in South Surrey advises of the drive-thru schedule. (Contributed photo)
Cold-weather clothing donations sought at South Surrey drive-thru effort

Weekly collection continues in Mount Olive Lutheran Church parking lot

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna Mountie hit with 2nd lawsuit in 2 months for alleged assault

Const. Julius Prommer is accused of breaking a woman’s knee during while responding to a noise complaint

Hirdeypal Batth, 24, has been charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement in relation to an incident in August 2020. (VPD handout)
Man, 24, charged with sex assault after allegedly posing as fake Uber driver in Vancouver

Investigators believe there could be more victims outside of the Vancouver area

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Premier John Horgan and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee arrive for annual Cascadia conference in Vancouver, Oct. 10, 2018. They have agreed to coordinate the permanent switch to daylight saving time. (B.C. government)
B.C. still awaiting U.S. approval to eliminate daylight saving time

Clocks going back one hour Nov. 1 in Washington too

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with US Vice-President Joe Biden on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, December 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
A Biden presidency could mean good news for Canadian environment policy: observers

Experts and observers say even a U.S. outside the Paris agreement may ultimately end up in the same place

People take a photo together during the opening night of Christmas Lights Across Canada, in Ottawa, on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. The likelihood that most Canadians will enjoy a holly jolly Christmas season of gatherings, caroling and travel is unlikely, say public health experts who encourage those who revel in holiday traditions to accept more sacrifices ahead. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Ho, ho, no: Experts advise preparing for a scaled-back COVID holiday season

Many of the holiday season’s highlights have already been scrapped or are unlikely to take place

Sen. Kim Pate is shown in Toronto in an October 15, 2013, file photo. The parliamentary budget office says a proposed law that would give judges discretion on whether to apply a lesser sentence for murder could save the federal government $8.3 million per year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel
Judicial discretion for mandatory minimum sentences for murder would save $8.3M: PBO

The result would be fewer people in long-term custody at federal correctional institutions, experts say

Most Read