Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan is calling on world leaders to crack down on online hate and extremism following the deadly truck attack in London, Ontario — now being investigated by authorities as a possible act of terror.
Four people were killed and a nine-year-old boy suffered serious injuries when they were run down by a pickup truck Sunday evening.
Police say the family was targeted because they were Muslim. The family moved to Canada from Pakistan in 2007.
“Everyone is shocked in [Pakistan], because we saw the family picture, and so a family being targeted like that has had a deep impact in Pakistan,” Khan told the CBC’s chief political correspondent Rosemary Barton.
Premier Imran’s exclusive interview will be aired on Sunday (tomorrow) on Rosemary Barton Live on CBC News Network and on Gem, the CBC’s streaming service.
“I think there should be a very strict action against this,” said Imran Khan of online radicalisation.
“When there are these hate websites which create hatred amongst human beings, there should be an international action against them.”
He said he has raised the issue with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He described Trudeau as a leader who understands the importance of fighting online hate and Islamophobia, though he said other leaders have not yet made the same commitment.
“The world leaders, whenever they decide upon taking action, this will be dealt with,” Imran Khan said.
“The problem is at the moment, there is not enough motivation and that some international leaders, or leaders in the Western countries, actually don’t understand this phenomenon.”
While Imran Khan said he “mostly agrees” with Trudeau and his position on extremism, he also expressed concern with some Canadian laws that he believes are contributing to Islamophobia.
He described Quebec’s Bill 21 — which bans public servants, including teachers and police officers, from wearing religious symbols at work — as a form of “secular extremism” that leads to intolerance against Muslims.
“You want humans to basically be free to express the way they want to be, as long as it doesn’t cause pain and hurt to other human beings,” he said.