June 9, 2021

The O’Brien Institute stands against Islamophobia

Islamophobia is a public health issue
Afzaal family

The O’Brien Institute for Public Health community is horrified to learn of the recent Islamophobic attack in London, Ontario, which resulted in the death of four family members and that left a seriously injured nine-year-old boy as the lone survivor. 

We stand with the Muslim community in condemning acts of hate and violence and in grieving the loss of the victims.

Racism, discrimination, prejudice, and bullying all constitute a public health emergency that undermines health equity, and erodes the wellbeing of individuals and their communities.

The O’Brien Institute will continue to foster equity and diversity in our work, to address systemic racism and racial violence, and do the hard work of addressing racism as the public health issue that it is.

Read How to be an Ally: Islamophobia at the Intersections


Dr. Tom Stelfox, MD, PhD, O'Brien Institute Scientific Director

Dr. Christine Friedenreich, PhD, O'Brien Institute Associate Scientific Director

Dr. Jamie Day, PhD, O'Brien Institute Administrative Director

Dr. Aliya Kassam, PhD, Lead, O'Brien Institute Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Portfolio

The following resources are available for anyone struggling:

  • Image - Yumna Afzaal, 15, left, Madiha Salman, 44, centre left, Talat Afzaal, 74, and Salman Afzaal, 46, right, were out for an evening walk when they were run over by a man who police say was motivated by anti-Muslim hate. (Provided by Afzaal family)