Transcript: Getting to the Root of the London Attack | Jun 11, 2021

Nam sits inside a room with gray walls and a bookcase in the background. studio. She's in her early forties, with shoulder length straight brown hair. She's wearing glasses and a green blazer over a black shirt.

A caption on screen reads "Getting to the root of the London attack. Nam Kiwanuka, @namshine, @theagenda."

Nam says THE ATTACK IN LONDON, ONTARIO THAT KILLED FOUR MEMBERS OF ONE MUSLIM FAMILY HAS LEFT A COMMUNITY DEVASTATED AND MANY MORE PEOPLE BEYOND THERE REELING. BUT IT ALSO RAISES VERY HARD QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW SUCH A THING CAN HAPPEN IN THE FIRST PLACE AND WHAT ENVIRONMENT ALLOWS THAT KIND OF HATE TO FESTER. WITH US NOW TO TALK THROUGH SOME OF THAT: IN THE NATION'S CAPITAL: SHEEMA KHAN, WHO WROTE THE BOOK, "OF HOCKEY AND HIJAB: REFLECTIONS OF A CANADIAN MUSLIM WOMAN" AND A MONTHLY COLUMNIST FOR THE GLOBE AND MAIL...

Sheema is in her forties. She's wearing a printed gray and pink hijab and a white gown.

Nam continues IN PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY: BARBARA PERRY, PROFESSOR IN THE FACULTY OF SOCIAL SCIENCE AND HUMANITIES, AND DIRECTOR OF THE CENTRE ON HATE, BIAS AND EXTREMISM AT ONTARIO TECH UNIVERSITY...

Barbara is in her early fifties, with long straight chestnut hair and bangs. She's wearing glasses and a pale blue blouse.

Nam continues AND IN LONDON, ONTARIO: SELMA TOBAH, PHD CANDIDATE IN HEALTH and REHAB AT WESTERN UNIVERSITY...

Selma is in her twenties. She's wearing a gray hijab and a black jacket.

Nam continues WELCOME TO YOU ALL.

Sheema says THANK YOU.

Selma says THANK YOU FOR HAVING US.

Nam says THANKS FOR BEING HERE FOR A DIFFICULT CONVERSATION. JUST TO GET US INTO THE CONVERSATION, I WANTED TO READ A LITTLE BIT OF A POST THAT WENT VIRAL. SO BACK IN 2014, FORMER PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE CANDIDATE JEFF BENNETT ENCOUNTERED RACIST AND ANTI-MUSLIM COMMENTS ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL IN ONTARIO. BACK THEN HE DIDN'T SAY ANYTHING, AND HE'S NOW GRAPPLING WITH THAT FACT SEVEN YEARS LATER AFTER THIS UNTHINKABLE ACT OF VIOLENCE IN LONDON, ONTARIO. IN A FACEBOOK POST HE WROTE...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "Jeff Bennett's Facebook post, June 8, 2021." The quote reads "'BOY, ARE WE HAPPY TO SEE YOU AT OUR DOOR THIS ELECTION.'
'I CAN TELL BY LOOKING AT YOU THAT JEFF BENNETT IS A CANDIDATE I CAN SUPPORT.'
These are things people said to me when I was knocking on doors in London West as the PC Party Candidate in 2014. It happened many times. I would usually just thank them for their support and carry on. But it bothered me immensely. These people who'd never met me saw nothing special in me. They were happy only that my name was English and my skin was white.
Now I see people expressing shock that a racist terrorist would drive his truck into the pathway of a Muslim family going for a walk. 'London is better than this' they say. 'I can't believe this happened here.' Bullshit. I knocked on thousands of doors in the very neighbourhood this atrocity occurred. This terrorist may have been alone in that truck on that day, but he was not acting alone. He was raised in a racist city that pretends it isn't."

Nam says THIS IS JUST AN EXCERPT FROM A LONGER POST AND WE RECOMMEND PEOPLE READ THE ENTIRE POST. IT HAS BEEN WIDELY CIRCULATED ONLINE. SELMA, I WANTED TO START WITH YOU, CONSIDERING THAT YOU ARE IN LONDON, ONTARIO. I CAN ONLY IMAGINE WHAT THE MOOD IS LIKE THERE. WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION WHEN YOU SAW THE STATEMENT?

The caption changes to "Selma Tobah. London Resident."

Selma says I WOULD SAY I WASN'T SURPRISED. I THINK HE REALLY HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD ON THE WAY RACISM MANIFESTS ITSELF IN THE CITY, AND I WOULD ARGUE IN THE COUNTRY AT LARGE. YOU KNOW, NOT EVERY CANADIAN... I HOPE NOT MANY CANADIANS CAN SEE THEMSELVES TO A FAMILY ON AN EVENING WALK BUT MANY MAKE COMMENTS JEFF BENNETT TALKED ABOUT. WHO IS A REAL CANADIAN OR WHO IS IT THAT THEY TRUST TO MAKE DECISIONS IN PLACES OF LEADERSHIP AND POSITIONS OF POWER? THAT IS HOW RACISM MANIFESTS ITSELF ON A DAILY BASIS.

Nam says DOES IT MATTER THAT HE SAID IT NOW AS OPPOSED TO BACK THEN?

Selma says YOU KNOW, TO ME, IT DOES. YOU KNOW, I REALLY STRUGGLED WHEN I READ THIS. YOU KNOW, I'M HAPPY THAT HE IS EXPOSING THIS KIND OF RACISM AND CALLING IT OUT AND APOLOGETIC HE DIDN'T SAY ANYTHING IN THE MOMENT. BUT IT'S SEVEN YEARS AND PEOPLE ARE BEING KILLED. AND I'M REALLY TIRED WAITING FOR PEOPLE TO HAVE THIS RECKONING WITH THEMSELVES, AND WITH THE NATION. I THINK IT'S A CONVERSATION THAT WE NEED TO HAVE. SO AS APPRECIATIVE AS I AM THAT HE MADE THIS POST, I'M ALSO REALLY FRUSTRATED THAT IT TOOK THIS LONG.

Nam says SHEEMA, WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS WHEN YOU SAW THAT STATEMENT?

The caption changes to "Sheema Khan. Author, 'Of hockey and hijab.'"

Sheema says WELL, I WAS APPRECIATIVE OF THE FACT THAT HE DID MAKE THOSE STATEMENTS. IT'S NOT EASY TO DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT. IT DOES TAKE COURAGE AND IT TAKES A GREAT DEAL OF HONESTY. AND IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO DO THAT. I THINK HE HAS ALSO SPARKED A WIDER CONVERSATION AMONG THE PEOPLE OF LONDON AND I THINK PEOPLE ACROSS THIS LAND, TO LOOK IN THE MIRROR AND TO SEE WHAT THEY'VE DONE. IT'S VITAL WHAT HE'S DONE. SO I'M VERY APPRECIATIVE OF THAT.

Nam says BARBARA, WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS?

The caption changes to "Barbara Perry. Ontario Tech University."

Barbara says I ALSO APPRECIATE WHAT HE SAID BECAUSE IT REALLY HIGHLIGHTS WHAT I OFTEN REFER TO AS... THIS IS A LEGITIMATE TARGET. I THINK HE MAY BE TOO LITTLE TOO LATE, BUT HE HAS ACKNOWLEDGED I THINK THE FACT THAT IT IS A SYSTEMIC ISSUE. HATRED OF THIS SORT OF VIOLENCE IS A SYSTEMIC ISSUE, IT'S NOT JUST AN INDIVIDUAL ISSUE.

Nam says I WANT TO GO BACK TO ONE OF THE SENTENCES HE WROTE. HE SAID THIS PERPETRATOR WAS RAISED IN A RACIST CITY THAT PRETENDS IT ISN'T. BARBARA, IN YOUR VIEW, IS LONDON A RACIST CITY, AS JEFF BENNETT SAYS?

Barbara says WELL, I THINK I'VE SEEN IN TERMS OF PUBLIC OPINION POLLING BUT ALSO IN TERMS OF THE PRESENCE OF THE FAR RIGHT THAT THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT WESTERN ONTARIO IN PARTICULAR, SORT OF QUITE BROADLY, THAT SEEMS TO HOUSE OR HOST THESE SORTS OF ATTITUDES AND I THINK LONDON IS ONE OF THOSE CITIES. I MEAN, HAMILTON IS ANOTHER. TRI-CITIES TO SOME EXTENT AS WELL. AND IT'S SORT OF, YOU KNOW, A REACTIONARY ETHOS AMONGST... YOU KNOW, ONE HOPES, YOU KNOW, A RELATIVELY SMALL PROPORTION OF THE POPULATION. I MEAN, THESE ARE AREAS ARE HOMOGENEOUSLY WHITE AND CHRISTIAN AND IN THE LAST TEN OR FIFTEEN YEARS HAVE SEEN REALLY FAST DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGE THAT ISN'T WELCOMED BY EVERYONE. AND SO THE HATRED THAT WE'RE SEEING IS A REACTION TO CHANGE AND THAT'S CERTAINLY WHAT WE'RE SEEING IN THAT CONTEXT. I THINK IT'S ALSO PART OF A BROADER PATTERN. AGAIN, IT'S NOT JUST LONDON, IT'S NOT JUST WESTERN ONTARIO, BUT, YOU KNOW, IT IS A NATIONAL PROBLEM THAT WE'RE GRAPPLING WITH RIGHT NOW. I WILL SAY LONDON HAS BEEN ONE OF THE HOT SPOTS FOR FAR RIGHT ACTIVITY, NOT JUST IN THIS CURRENT UPTICK IN ACTIVITY BUT EVENING IN THE '90S AND EARLY 2000S WHICH WAS THE LAST HEY-DAY FOR THE FAR RIGHT. SO IT REALLY IS A BREEDING GROUND OF SOME SORT THAT FOMENTS THAT KIND OF HOSTILITY THAT CAN GIVE RISE TO THESE EXTREME FORMS OF VIOLENCE.

Nam says SELMA, JUST TO BUILD ON WHAT BARBARA JUST SAID. AT THE VIGIL, THERE WAS THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE FROM DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS, DIFFERENT FAITHS, AND THEY ALL GATHERED TO MOURN THE KILLINGS OF THE AFZAAL FAMILY. YOU LIVE IN LONDON. IN YOUR VIEW, IS LONDON A RACIST CITY AS JEFF BENNETT SAYS?

Selma says ABSOLUTELY. I THINK THAT THIS HAS BEEN, YOU KNOW, WELL-DOCUMENTED. YOU KNOW, THERE ARE TONS OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE WRITTEN ARTICLES, OP-EDS, BOOKS ABOUT THEIR TREATMENT IN LONDON. I DON'T KNOW A SINGLE RACIALIZED PERSON, NOT JUST A MUSLIM PERSON, BUT I DON'T KNOW OF A SINGLE RACIALIZED PERSON WHO HASN'T HAD A RACIST INCIDENT IN THIS CITY, WITH VARYING DEGREES OF FREQUENCY AND CONCERN. I THINK IT'S EASY ALSO TO LOOK AT LONDON AND TO ASK THE QUESTIONS ABOUT WHY IT IS SOUTHWEST ONTARIO IN PARTICULAR HOUSES THESE TYPES OF ATTITUDES, BUT I THINK IT WOULD BE A MISTAKE NOT TO TIE THE VIOLENCE THAT WE ARE SEEING IN THIS REGION TO THE VIOLENCE THAT WE SEE ACROSS THE COUNTRY. WE CAN'T... YOU KNOW, IGNORE THE FACT THAT WE HAVE HAD TEN, MOST OF THEM WOMEN, MOSTLY BLACK IN ALBERTA WHO HAVE BEEN ATTACKED SINCE DECEMBER OF 2020. WE CAN'T IGNORE THE SYSTEMIC RACISM THAT MUSLIM WOMEN FACE IN QUEBEC AMONG OTHER PEOPLE OF FAITH. THIS IS A PROBLEM ACROSS THE NATION, AND I THINK IT WOULD BE REALLY EASY TO LOOK AT SPECIFICALLY THIS REGION, BUT I THINK WE ALSO HAVE TO TIE IT TO THE SENTIMENTS WE SEE ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

Nam says THERE WAS ANOTHER POLITICIAN WHO PUSHED BACK AND SAID LONDON IS NOT A RACIST CITY, WE TAKE CARE OF OUR COMMUNITIES. I GREW UP IN LONDON. THE REASON I'M IN LONDON IS BECAUSE OF A WOMAN, A WHITE WOMAN IN LONDON, ONTARIO, SPONSORED MY FAMILY FROM A REFUGEE CAMP IN KENYA. SHE HAD NEVER BEEN TO THAT PART OF THE WORLD. THIS IS BEFORE FACEBOOK, TWITTER. SHE HAD NEVER SEEN A PICTURE OF US. AND WHEN SHE BROUGHT US TO CANADA, SHE TREATED US... WE WERE HER FAMILY. AT THE SAME TIME, GROWING UP IN LONDON, IT WAS REALLY CHALLENGING BECAUSE IT WAS A VERY HOMOGENEOUS ENVIRONMENT AND MY FAMILY EXPERIENCED RACISM. WE CAN'T FORGET PHILIP RUSHTON, JUST TOO AS A FOLLOW-UP, SELMA. WE DO HAVE THIS PERCEPTION THAT CANADA IS THIS... YOU KNOW, OUR BRAND IS THAT WE'RE FRIENDLY, WELCOMING, AND IN THIS MOMENT, ESPECIALLY WITH WHAT'S BEEN GOING ON IN LONDON, PEOPLE WANT TO PUSH BACK AND SAY, "WELL, IT'S NOT OUR COMMUNITY. WE'RE NOT LIKE THAT." WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE FOR PEOPLE... OR HOW DO WE MOVE FORWARD IF THERE'S ALREADY THAT PUSHBACK, THAT THIS ISN'T HAPPENING, EVEN AFTER THIS TRAGEDY HAS HAPPENED FINANCE OUR LAND, ON THIS LAND, NOT OUR LAND.

Selma says I DON'T THINK ANYONE IS... LIKE YOU SAID AT THE VIGIL. I THINK THAT OUTPOURING OF SUPPORT WAS TOUCHING FOR SO MANY, INCLUDING MYSELF. BUT I THINK BY LOOKING AWAY AND REFUSING TO BE REALLY INTROSPECTIVE ABOUT THE VIOLENCE THAT SO MANY OF PEOPLE OF COLOUR HAVE BEEN SAYING FOR DECADES HAVE BEEN FACING, THEN I THINK THAT, YOU KNOW, WE RISK LOSING THE FOCUS HERE AND SO, YOU KNOW, YES, I THINK IT'S NECESSARY, ESPECIALLY FOR YOUNG CANADIANS TO NOT LOSE HOPE, TO LOOK AT THOSE OPTIMISTIC EXAMPLES, BUT I THINK IT IS VERY NECESSARY TO KEEP THE SPOTLIGHT ON NOT JUST ISLAMOPHOBIA BUT WHITE SUPREMACIST VIOLENCE ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND THE WAY IT MANIFESTS INTO VIOLENCE, SYSTEMIC, INTERPERSONALLY, TO PEOPLE OF COLOUR ACROSS CANADA.

Nam says SHEEMA, PEOPLE OF COLOUR HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT DISCRIMINATION. IN THE PAST YEAR WE'VE SEEN A RECKONING WHERE WE'RE HAVING CONVERSATIONS I DON'T THINK WE WOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO HAVE MAYBE THREE YEARS AGO. IN THIS SITUATION, IS IT SIGNIFICANT THAT IT'S A WHITE LONDONER THAT IS MAKING THIS STATEMENT?

Sheema says YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT THE STATEMENT BY...

Nam says JEFF BENNETT, NAMING IT.

Sheema says IT'S VERY SIGNIFICANT. I MEAN, I CAN'T THINK OF ANOTHER TIME FOLLOWING, YOU KNOW, ANOTHER TRAGEDY WHERE SOMEONE... YOU KNOW, SOMEONE HAS BEEN SO FORTH RIGHT. IT'S VERY IMPORTANT. AND I THINK, YOU KNOW, YOU POINTED OUT, DEMOGRAPHICS ARE CHANGING, AND YOU SEE THIS NOT JUST IN CANADA BUT YOU SEE THIS IN THE U.S. AND EUROPEAN COUNTRIES. AS DEMOGRAPHICS CHANGE, THERE IS PUSHBACK. THERE IS DISCOMFORT. AND WE HAVE TO... WE HAVE TO COME TOGETHER AS A COUNTRY AND, NOT JUST ASK OURSELVES WHAT KIND OF COUNTRY WE WANT GOING FORWARD, BUT HOW HARD ARE WE GOING TO WORK TO GET TO WHERE WE WANT TO BE? AND THAT DOES INVOLVE UNCOMFORTABLE CONVERSATIONS. I THINK FOR THOSE... WE HAVE TO WORK TOGETHER AND REACH OUT TO THOSE WHO DO UNDERSTAND AND WHO DO WANT TO GET THE WORK DONE. AND SLOWLY OTHERS WILL COME ALONG. BUT I WOULD NOT LOSE HOPE. WE ARE GOING THROUGH CHANGES, AND UNFORTUNATELY WHAT WE'VE SEEN IS PUSHBACK AGAINST SOME OF THESE CHANGES.

Nam says AND AS SELMA POINTED OUT, THIS IS SOMETHING THAT'S BEEN HAPPENING ACROSS THE COUNTRY. THERE'S BEEN MULTIPLE INCIDENCES. AT THE VIGIL, A SPEAKER SPOKE OF A YOUNG RELATIVE WORRYING ABOUT APPEARING TO BE TOO MUSLIM. SHEEMA, IS THIS SOMETHING THAT YOU'VE GRAPPLED WITH, WORRIED THAT YOU WERE, YOU KNOW, WHO YOU ARE WILL PUT YOU IN DANGER?

Sheema says NOT AFTER THIS INCIDENT. I THINK I FELT THAT WAY AFTER 9-11, WHICH WAS ALMOST 20 YEARS AGO. BUT, YOU KNOW, I'VE BEEN THROUGH MANY SO-CALLED BATTLES. IT GOES BACK DECADES. I WAS IN QUEBEC, YOU KNOW, AT THE TIME OF THE SECOND REFERENDUM. YOU KNOW, YOU CAN SEE IT BUILDING. YOU CAN SEE IT BUILDING. AND AT SOME POINT YOU SAY, WELL, I'M NOT GOING TO CHANGE WHO I AM AND GIVE IN TO THE FEAR OR HATRED OF OTHERS. I AM WHO I AM. AND I'M GOING TO CONTINUE TO LIVE AS I AM. BUT I'M NOT GOING TO CHANGE MY WAYS BECAUSE SOMEONE DOESN'T WANT ME TO DO... THAT WOULD BE THE STIPULATION AND WE SHOULD STAND FIRM OF BEING WHO WE ARE AND STAND WITH DIGNITY AND COURAGE.

Nam says SELMA, I WANT TO ASK YOU THE SAME QUESTION TOO. BECAUSE I KNOW THAT... IT ALWAYS FEELS LIKE WHEN SOMETHING HAPPENS TO... IF SOMEONE ELSE HASN'T EXPERIENCED THAT THING, IT SEEMS LIKE YOU HAVE TO WRITE A DISSERTATION OF WHAT YOU'VE EXPERIENCED AND EXPLAIN AND LIVED THROUGH THE TRAUMA AND TRY TO PROVE TO PEOPLE WHAT YOUR EXPERIENCES HAVE BEEN LIKE. I WANT TO ASK YOU THAT SAME QUESTION. AND I DON'T MEAN TO ASK IT AS A WAY TO MAKE YOU RELIVE THAT TRAUMA OR NOT TO BELIEVE YOU, BUT I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE DON'T HAVE... YOU KNOW, WHEN THEY LEAVE THEIR HOME, THEY MIGHT NOT LEAVE THEIR HOME WITH THE SAME CONCERNS AS SO MANY OTHER PEOPLE DO.

Selma says YEAH. YOU KNOW, MY DAD HAS SAID TO MYSELF AND MY SIBLINGS FOR YEARS: DON'T JAYWALK BECAUSE IT MAY GIVE SOMEONE WHO HATES MUSLIMS AN EXCUSE TO RUN YOU OVER AND CALL IT A TRAFFIC ACCIDENT. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT, YOU KNOW, WE'VE BEEN WORRIED ABOUT FOR YEARS, FOR OUR SAFETY IN PUBLIC PLACES. AND I THINK JUST THE INCREASED FREQUENCY AND VIOLENCE, I WOULD SAY, AND JUST THE HORROR OF THE ATTACKS THAT WE'RE SEEING JUST BRINGS THOSE FEARS TO LIFE. AND THAT THEY'RE NO LONGER WHAT-IFS BUT WHEN FOR SO MANY OF US.

Nam says BARBARA, YOU KNOW, WHEN WE TALK ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED THIS PAST WEEK, I HAVE BEEN RETHINKING THE TERM "ISLAMOPHOBIA." I SAW SOMEONE TWEET ABOUT IT AND SAY WE NEED TO SAY ISLAMOPHOBIA IS LIKE ARACHNOPHOBIA, THAT YOU'RE AFRAID OF SOMETHING, AND THEY SAID THEY WOULD RATHER USE THE TERMINOLOGY "ANTI-MUSLIM HATE." DOES THE LANGUAGE MATTER IN THIS SITUATION? DO WE NEED TO THINK ABOUT HOW WE TERM CERTAIN THINGS?

Barbara says THAT'S A REALLY GREAT QUESTION. BECAUSE IF WE THINK ABOUT WHAT PHOBIA MEANS, IT'S AN IRRATIONAL FEAR. YOU REFERENCED ARACHNOPHOBIA. THAT'S IRRATIONAL. MOST SPIDERS AREN'T TOXIC AND WON'T KILL US. IN THIS CONTEXT TO TALK ABOUT ISLAMOPHOBIA, GIVEN THE EARLIER TERMS OF THAT CLIMATE OF HATE, ISLAMOPHOBIA IS NOT IRRATIONAL. IT'S SOMETHING THAT WE ARE SOCIALIZED TO EXPERIENCE, YOU KNOW, GIVEN THE POLITICAL NARRATIVE, GIVEN THE NARRATIVES OF THE FAR RIGHT, AND EVEN OF SOME ACADEMICS. YOU KNOW, IT MAKES SENSE THAT THERE IS FEAR, THERE'S HOSTILITY TOWARDS MUSLIMS BECAUSE OF THE MYTHOLOGIES AND THE STEREOTYPES THAT HAVE BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH THEM AND ATTACHED TO THEM. SO, YOU KNOW, I THINK YOU'RE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. THERE'S TALK ABOUT ANTI-MUSLIM HATRED. WE CALL IT WHAT IT IS. BUT I THINK WE'VE BEEN USING ISLAMOPHOBIA FOR SO LONG, IT'S HARD TO BACK AWAY FROM THAT. BUT I THINK PEOPLE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THE REAL ROOTS OF THE TERM.

Nam says YOU KNOW, WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THIS PERPETRATOR?

Barbara says WE DON'T KNOW A GREAT DEAL. WE'RE JUST HEARING SOME THINGS COMING OUT OF DIVORCE RECORDS FROM HIS PARENTS' DIVORCE A FEW YEARS BACK WHERE HE'S ANGRY, CONFRONTATIONAL. THERE WAS SOME MENTION THAT PERHAPS THERE WAS A SWASTIKA ON HIS T-SHIRT. THAT DOESN'T NECESSARILY MEAN THAT HE WAS AFFILIATED WITH ANY FORMAL HATE GROUP. I THINK THE FACT THAT LAW ENFORCEMENT DESIGNATED THIS AS HATE MOTIVATED SO QUICKLY SUGGESTS THAT THERE WAS SOME DOCUMENTATION ABOUT HIS ISLAMOPHOBIC OR ANTI-MUSLIM SENTIMENT. SO WHAT ELSE DO WE KNOW? I THINK WE'RE LEARNING THAT HE WAS RAISED IN A FAIRLY CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIAN HOUSEHOLD AND THE FAMILY SUPPORTED THINGS LIKE RIGHT-TO-LIFE ORGANIZATIONS WHICH SUGGEST SOME VERY CONSERVATIVE VALUES, WHICH MIGHT INCLUDE, YOU KNOW, SORT OF EXCLUSIONARY VIEWS OF RACIALIZED COMMUNITIES, OF MUSLIMS. AGAIN, IT'S VERY EARLY AND VERY LITTLE IS COMING OUT ABOUT HIM. BUT THERE'S NO REAL PATTERN. THERE'S NO ONE PROFILE ASSOCIATED WITH THE MEN, PRIMARILY, WHO ENGAGE IN XENOPHOBIC VIOLENCE ACROSS THE GLOBE, ASIDE FROM THE FACT THAT THEY'RE TYPICALLY YOUNG WHITE MALES.

Nam says YOU MENTIONED HIS CHRISTIAN BACKGROUND. I MEAN, I WAS RAISED IN A CHRISTIAN ENVIRONMENT. IT'S KIND OF SHOCKING. WE ALREADY TOUCHED A LITTLE BIT, SELMA WAS TALKING ABOUT THIS IS NOT JUST A LONDON PROBLEM TO CONFRONT. YOU KNOW, I'M TRYING TO FIGURE OUT THE WORDING BECAUSE SOME PEOPLE MIGHT SAY, YOU KNOW, THIS IS A HUGE LEAP FROM SOMEONE JUST, YOU KNOW, BEING RACIST, BECAUSE RACIST IS REALLY HARMFUL AND DAMAGING. BUT HOW DOES SOMEONE GET FROM, YOU KNOW, BEING RACIST TO COMMITTING THIS EXTREMIST ATTACK WHERE SO MANY PEOPLE ARE KILLED?

Barbara says WELL, IT'S NOT A LINEAR PROGRESSION. WE KNOW FROM, YOU KNOW, PUBLIC OPINION POLLS, FROM HATE CRIME DATA EVEN, WE KNOW THAT IN THE FAR RIGHT THERE ARE, IN THE CANADIAN CONTEXT, TENS OF THOUSANDS PERHAPS WHO ARE ANTI-MUSLIM, BUT VERY FEW OF THEM ARE THIS WAY. BUT I THINK WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO LOOK AT HOW HE WAS ANIMATED, HOW HE WAS MOBILIZED. WAS THERE ENGAGEMENT WITH FAR RIGHT GROUPS ONLINE? AND THEN YOU HAVE TO ADD IN, WHAT IS THE PERSONAL BENEFIT, IF YOU WILL, FOR HIM OF ENGAGING IN THIS SORT OF BEHAVIOUR? THE FACT THAT HE WAS SO CALMLY ARRESTED AND APPARENTLY, YOU KNOW, TOLD THE TAXI DRIVER TO CALL THE POLICE AND TO FILM THE ARREST, SUGGESTS THAT HE WAS LOOKING FOR HIS MOMENT OF GLORY. SO DID HE WANT TO BE A MARTYR? DOES HE WANT TO BE A HERO FOR THE CAUSE? LIKE MANASSIAN WAS FOR THE INCEL MOVEMENT. THAT SEEMS TO BE ONE OF THE CASES HERE. IT'S NOT JUST THE ANTI-MUSLIM SENTIMENT. IT'S THE DESIRE TO LEAVE HIS MARK, TO SOMEHOW MAKE A NAME FOR HIMSELF, EVEN IN THIS DARK DAY.

Nam says WE HAVE LESS THAN TEN MINUTES LEFT. I WANTED TO GET REACTION FROM SELMA AND SHEEMA. SELMA?

Selma says I THINK, YOU KNOW, WE HAVE A LOT OF CONVERSATIONS AGAIN, YOU KNOW, ABOUT LONDON AND ABOUT THE SENTIMENT TOWARDS MUSLIMS IN LONDON AND ACROSS THE COUNTRY. BUT I THINK IT'S ALSO NECESSARY TO HAVE A CONVERSATION ABOUT WHITE SUPREMACY AND HOW IT MANIFESTS ITSELF, INTERPERSONALLY AND IN THE STRUCTURES OF OUR COUNTRY. I KNOW WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO HAVE A RECKONING ABOUT BILL 21 IN QUEBEC. WE HAVE SEEN... THERE WAS JUST A REPORT THAT CAME OUT WHERE IT SAID THAT THE CRA, BETWEEN 2008 AND 2015, 75 percent OF THE CONSIDERATIONS THAT LOST THEIR CHARITABLE STATUS WERE MUSLIM ORGANIZATIONS. YOU KNOW, WE HAVE TO HAVE A CONVERSATION ABOUT THE WAY CSIS TREATS MUSLIM INDIVIDUALS AND COMMUNITIES. THE OUTGOING COMMANDER OF THE ARMED FORCES RECENTLY SAID WE HAVE A PROUD BOY PROBLEM IN OUR ARMED FORCES. WE HAVE TO HAVE A CONVERSATION ABOUT THE WAY WHITE SUPREMACY PRESENTS ITSELF AND USE THE STRUCTURES IN OUR COUNTRY TO TARGET AND HARM PEOPLE OF COLOUR. SO, YES, IT IS AN INTERPERSONAL ISSUE AND YES IT IS A SINGLE INDIVIDUAL IN THIS CASE THAT COMMITTED THIS ACT OF VIOLENCE, BUT WE HAVE TO ASK: WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE STRUCTURES AND THE SYSTEMS WITHIN OUR NATION THAT MAKES HIM THINK THAT IT'S OKAY TO DO THIS?

Nam says YOU KNOW, SELMA, I WANTED TO FOLLOW UP WITH THAT. AT THE LONDON VIGIL, POLITICIANS OF ALL STRIPES SPOKE OF BEING HEART BROKEN AND OUTRAGED. PREMIER DOUG FORD SAID I WANT EVERY SINGLE MUSLIM PERSON, EVERY MUSLIM FAMILY TO KNOW THAT WE'RE WITH THEM, WE'LL ALWAYS HAVE YOUR BACKS. YET A FEW DAYS AGO HIS GOVERNMENT BLOCKED A MOTION CONDEMNING ISLAMOPHOBIA... AGAIN THAT WORD... THAT WAS BROUGHT FORWARD BY LIBERAL MITZIE HUNTER. PRIME MINISTER JUSTIN TRUDEAU WAS ALSO AT THE VIGIL AND HE SAID ISLAMOPHOBIA IS REAL, RACISM IS REAL. HE WAS ASKED TO DENOUNCE THE BILL THAT BARRED THE WEARING OF RELIGIOUS SYMBOLS, HE SAID IT'S UP TO THE PEOPLE OF QUEBEC TO CHALLENGE THAT LEGISLATION IN COURT. IF NOT NOW AFTER THIS UNSPEAKABLE TRAGEDY, WHAT DO YOU THINK IT WILL TAKE FOR THOSE IN POWER TO GO BEYOND WORDS WHICH, AS SO MANY OF THEM AT THE LONDON VIGIL SAID, WE NEED TO MOVE BEYOND WORDS AND GO INTO ACTION?

Selma says YOU KNOW, THAT'S A REALLY SCARY QUESTION. WHAT WILL IT TAKE? I THINK THAT'S A QUESTION THAT NOT JUST MUSLIMS BUT MANY COMMUNITIES HAVE BEEN ASKING FOR YEARS. WE JUST... YOU KNOW, THIS COUNTRY IS REELING CONSTANTLY FROM THE AFTERMATH OF WHITE SUPREMACIST VIOLENCE AND THE CONSISTENCY OF IT. WE JUST ARE REELING FROM THE NEWS OF 215 CHILDREN, BABIES, BEING FOUND IN AN UNMARKED GRAVE IN RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS AND WE HAVE THE TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMITTEE WHO HAS BEEN ASKING FOR FUNDING.TO COMMUNITIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY HAVE BEEN ASKING THE GOVERNMENT FOR ACTION, FOR ACTIONABLE STEPS TO BE TAKEN. WE NEED TO MOVE BEYOND WORDS. WE ARE REELING FROM THIS VIOLENCE AND THE AFTERMATH OF IT ON A REGULAR BASIS, AND I THINK SO MANY OF US ARE SAYING ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. YOU CAN'T COME TO OUR VIGILS AND EXPRESS CONDOLENCES AFTER WE'VE BEEN KILLED AND NOT DO EVERYTHING WITHIN YOUR POWER TO MAKE SURE THAT WE STAY ALIVE.

Nam says AND SHEEMA?

Sheema says ERIN O'TOOLE, WHAT IS IT FOUR YEARS AGO AFTER THE QUEBEC CITY MASSACRE, [INAUDIBLE] HE ALONG WITH HIS CONSERVATIVE PARTY MEMBERS VOTED AGAINST IT. SO THERE'S A LOT OF HYPOCRISY. AND HERE'S A PROPOSITION. I UNDERSTAND WHY THE CONSERVATIVES AND THE LIBERALS ARE NOT VOICING OR NOT INTERVENING AGAINST BILL 21 BECAUSE, LET'S FACE IT, THERE'S AN ELECTION ON THE HORIZON AND QUEBEC HAS A LARGE NUMBER OF VOTES. SO THERE'S A POLITICAL CALCULATION THERE. AND THIS IS WHAT POLITICAL PARTIES DO. HERE'S A SUGGESTION: CAN WE PUT PRINCIPLE ABOVE POLITICS AND HAVE THE LEADERS OF ALL THE MAJOR PARTIES COME TOGETHER AND SAY IN UNISON THAT WE OPPOSE BILL 21 AND WE ARE NOT GOING TO LET ELECTIONEERING DICTATE OR SUBSUME BASICALLY FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF EVERY CANADIAN IN THIS COUNTRY. CAN WE HAVE OUR POLITICAL LEADERS COME TOGETHER AND SAY, YOU KNOW, FORGET ABOUT ELECTIONEERING. WE ALL AGREE THAT THIS LAW IS WRONG. AND COME TOGETHER AND DO WHAT IS REQUIRED AT A NATIONAL LEVEL. THAT TO ME IS TRUE LEADERSHIP. OTHERWISE, IT'S SIMPLY EMPTY WORDS. AND I WATCHED PARTS OF THE VIGIL. THE WORDS FROM POLITICIANS DIDN'T TOUCH ME ONE BIT. FOR ME THE SAME OLD SAME OLD.

Nam says BARBARA, YOU KNOW, WHEN I WAS TALKING ABOUT THE LONDON VIGIL, I THINK ALL OF THE POLITICIANS SAID THE SAME THING. WE NEED TO MOVE BEYOND WORDS INTO ACTION. AND MY UNDERSTANDING IS THAT HATE CRIMES HAVE BEEN ON THE RISE IN CANADA FOR THE PAST FEW YEARS. WE HAVE, YOU KNOW, SHEEMA MENTIONED ELECTIONEERING. WE HAVE A FEW ELECTIONS ON THE HORIZON. CAN YOU GIVE US A SENSE OF THE SCOPE OF THE PROBLEM WHEN IT COMES TO HATE CRIMES IN CANADA?

Barbara says SURE, YEAH. WELL, I SHARE THE FRUSTRATION ABOUT, YOU KNOW, THE FOCUS ON WORDS AND LANGUAGE AND THE FAILURE TO ACT IN THIS CONTEXT. ONE OF THE THINGS WE'VE HEARD FROM POLITICIANS IS, YOU KNOW, THIS IS NOT OUR CANADA. THIS IS NOT [INAUDIBLE] IT CLEARLY IS. THIS IS AN EXTENSIVE PROBLEM NOT JUST FOR MUSLIM COMMUNITIES BUT OTHER COMMUNITIES AS WELL. SO, FOR EXAMPLE, IN 2016... FROM 2016 TO 2017 WE SAW A 40 percent JUMP IN HATE CRIME. IF WE SAW THAT CATEGORY WE WOULD BE ASKING FOR A NATIONAL INQUIRY, WE WOULD HAVE BEEN SO CONCERNED. THIS IS AN EXTENSIVE PROBLEM. IT'S NOT ONE THAT HAS BEEN FORCEFULLY RECKONED WITH. I THINK THE OTHER PIECE IS, YOU KNOW, YOU REFERRED TO ACTION OVER WORDS. WE DO HAVE THIS LOVELY NATIONAL ACTION PLAN AGAINST RACISM AND I THINK IT'S TIME TO MOVE FROM THE PLAN TO THE ACTION IN ALL OF THESE AREAS.

Nam says CAN YOU GIVE US A SENSE OF WHICH GROUPS ARE TARGETED AND ALSO WHY THIS IS HAPPENING, WHY IS THERE AN INCREASE IN HATE CRIMES?

Barbara says WELL, TYPICALLY YEAR TO YEAR ANTI-BLACK HATE CRIME HAS BEEN MORE FREQUENT, THEN ANTI-SEMITIC, THEN ANTI-MUSLIM, FOLLOWED BY ANTIGAY VIOLENCE, PARTICULARLY VIOLENCE AGAINST GAY MEN. SO THOSE ARE THE MOST TARGETED, HEAVILY TARGETED COMMUNITIES. AND I THINK THERE ARE A WHOLE ARRAY OF FACTORS THAT PLAY INTO THAT. THE HISTORICAL LEGACY. WE'VE NEVER BEEN WITHOUT HOSTILITY, HATRED, DISTRUST OF VICTIM COMMUNITIES. BUT IN CONTEMPORARY TERMS, THAT INCLUDES THE POLITICAL RHETORIC THAT HAS BEEN CIRCULATING, VILIFYING MUSLIMS, NOT JUST IN THE U.S. WITH TRUMP, BUT IN THE CANADIAN CONTEXT AS WELL. THINK ABOUT THE HOT LINE FOR BARBARIC CULTURAL PRICES, SCREENING FOR CANADIAN VALUES... ALL OF THOSE ARE REALLY THINLY CODED, THINLY VEILED SENTIMENTS THAT ARE MEANT TO OTHER CANADIANS AND VILIFY MUSLIM COMMUNITIES IN PARTICULAR. THAT WITH THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE REFUGEE CRISIS, AS IT WAS REFERRED TO, YOU KNOW, THAT REALLY [INAUDIBLE] A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO. THAT SORT OF WAS COLLAPSED WITH ANTI-MUSLIM SENTIMENT BECAUSE IT WAS MUSLIM REFUGEES THAT WERE OF CONCERN. YOU ADD TO THAT ECONOMIC ANXIETIES IN WESTERN CANADA IN PARTICULAR THAT WERE ALREADY EMERGING AROUND THE ENERGY SECTOR, AND NOW WE HAVE COVID, WHICH HAS EXACERBATED ANXIETY, FEAR, IN GENERAL. ASIAN COMMUNITIES ARE BEING AFFECTED. JEWISH COMMUNITIES ARE BEING AFFECTED. BUT ALSO MUSLIM COMMUNITIES.

Nam says I JUST WANTED TO GIVE SELMA AND SHEEMA 30 SECONDS EACH TO WHAT YOU BOTH WOULD LIKE TO SEE HAPPEN IN THE NEXT LITTLE WHILE. SHEEMA, I'LL HAVE YOU GO FIRST, PLEASE.

Sheema says I'D LIKE TO SEE LEADERSHIP, POLITICAL LEADERSHIP FOR ONE. IT'S TIME FOR SOME KIND OF PRINCIPLED ACTION. BARRING THAT, I THINK IT'S UP TO CIVIL SOCIETY. IF THE POLITICIANS WON'T PERFORM THEIR DUTIES, I THINK IT'S UP TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US TO DEMAND BETTER OF OURSELVES, OF OUR COMMUNITIES, OF OUR NEIGHBOURHOODS, TO WORK AT THE GRASS ROOTS AND KEEP PUSHING. WE CAN'T... WE CAN'T JUST LET THIS FESTER. IT'S GOING TO GET WORSE. AS I SAID, IF YOU CAN'T FIND... IF POLITICIANS DON'T LEAD, THEN IT'S UP TO US TO LEAD AS ORDINARY CITIZENS AND DO WHAT WE CAN.

Nam says AND SELMA?

Selma says YOU KNOW, THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CANADIAN MUSLIMS, MCCM, HAS PUT OUT A CALL FOR A NATIONAL SUMMIT ON ISLAMOPHOBIA AND CALLING POLITICAL LEADERS OF ALL LEVELS TO JOIN THE CONVERSATION AND TO ADDRESS THE NATURE OF ISLAMOPHOBIA, INTERPERSONALLY, STRUCTURALLY, IN ALL LEVELS AND ACROSS THIS COUNTRY. AND I THINK IT'S TIME FOR THAT TO HAPPEN. I THINK IT'S TIME FOR US TO HAVE A NATIONAL RECKONING AND A CONVERSATION ABOUT THE NATURE OF WHITE SUPREMACY IN CANADA. AND LIKE SHEEMA SAID, IF WE DON'T SEE ACTION, THEN THINGS ARE JUST GOING TO GET WORSE AND WE'RE GOING TO SEE A CONTINUED ESCALATION OF THIS VIOLENCE.

The caption changes to "Producer: Meredith Martin, @MeredithMartin."

Nam says THAT'S ALL THE TIME WE HAVE TONIGHT. I'M REALLY GRATEFUL FOR YOUR INSIGHTS AND OUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS GO TO THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY IN LONDON. THANK YOU SO MUCH, EVERYBODY. APPRECIATE IT.

Selma says THANK YOU FOR HAVING US.

Sheema and Barbara say Thank you.

Watch: Getting to the Root of the London Attack