In Memory of Mohamed Aslim-Zafis One Year Since the IMO Attack: Food Drive, Donations, Letter-Writing CampaignWritten by National Council of Canadian Muslims
On September 12th, 2020, Mohamed Aslam-Zafis was taken in an act of Islamophobic violence at the IMO mosque by a man allegedly linked to a white supremacist organization called the O9A. Before his life was cut short, Mohamed was handing out food to the needy.
Brother Mohamed was the caretaker of the International Muslim Organization (IMO) mosque in Toronto; and was a man who I met personally earlier in the summer of 2020 handing out food to the needy. Indeed, until September 12, brother Mohamed had been on the frontlines of providing COVID-19 assistance to the needy.
A man with alleged connections to a white supremacist group tried to remove that smile, that generous spirit, from our hearts on that day when he walked onto the IMO parking lot with a knife in his hand.
I could write about what happened in the aftermath - how we mobilized with many other communities and organizations to stand against white supremacist groups, achieved bipartisan agreement, and pushed the federal government towards dismantling white supremacist groups like the Proud Boys, the Base, and the Three Percenters.
But somehow, that feels hollow - we must do more to honour the legacy of our brother.
That's why this year, on the first anniversary of the departure of our brother Mohamed Aslim-Zafis, we are going to mark his martyrdom, may God grant him that stature, by engaging in the good acts of charity that he and his family were known for.
In the days leading up to September 12, 2021, I am encouraging you to do a simple act - to drop off a non-perishable food item at your local participating masjid to deliver to the food bank.
The Qur'an tells us that whoever kills a person, except in certain circumstances, it is as if they killed all humanity. And whoever saves the life of a person, it is as if they saved the life of all of humanity.
This year, we are asking you to mark September 12 by giving back to feed those in need, as brother Mohamed Aslim-Zafis did.
Ask your neighbours, your teachers, and your local politicians to come out to their local mosque and for the #WeAreIMO Food Drive.
Whether you are in the GTA or not, we are asking every masjid to participate.
Therefore, I am asking you to do one of three things:
1. Write a letter at www.nccm.ca/aslimzafis urging the government to ban O9A
2. Visit www.nccm.ca/imofooddrive to see a list of Masjids participating in our food drive. Drop off donations between September 6th-10th.
3. Donate online to Islamic Relief Canada at islamicrelief.ca/hungeroverhate
This is a traumatic and difficult time for many folks in Toronto, the IMO community, and for the family. Keep them in your duas and contribute back to help them today.
Mustafa Farooq, CEO of NCCM