Muslim family speaks out after charges in connection with clashes in the parking lot

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In a city characterized by Islamophobia, with religious groups and others promising to fight it, a 57-year-old man is now charged with assault in a dispute over the London car park, where the family says an elderly Muslim man was told to ” go back to your (explosive) country. “

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The indictment, which was filed on Tuesday, comes after the elderly man’s son, lawyer Nawaz Tahir, detailed the confrontation outside a department store in London on social media.

“I’m much better off than I was on Sunday night when I now knew the wheels of the justice system were running,” Tahir said after hearing about the charge. His father Muhammad is 75 years old.

Nearly half a year ago, four members of the Afzaal family in London were killed while walking in Hyde Park and were hit by a vehicle jumping over the curb. Police claim the family was deliberately run down, targeted because of their Muslim beliefs.

The fallout resonated across the country, even into the House of Commons, where critics and community leaders demanded that more be done to counter anti-Islamic attitudes and violent behavior.

A man from London was later charged with four counts of murder and one of attempted murder.

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Tahir, who spoke out against Islamophobia after the June crash that killed all but one member of the Afzaal family, a nine-year-old boy, said the community support his family has shown in recent days has ” been far greater than anything I could have imagined. “

According to the family’s report, Tahir’s father Muhammad, his sister Rubina and her husband were waiting to park at Costco on Wellington Road on Sunday when their car inadvertently blocked another motorist from leaving.

Rubina said she was sitting in the back seat of the car when a man became furious and started honking his horn and shouting indecently.

The Tahirs said the man got out of his vehicle, shouted, knocked on the windows and tried to tear off the car’s windshield wiper. He then opened the passenger door and made contact with Muhammad, a retired machinist who came to Canada from Pakistan in the early 1970s.

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“He took off my father’s mask and he wanted to fight,” Rubina remembered.

During the confrontation, the man shouted, “Go back to your (explosive) land,” the family said.

“No person should have to go through that,” Rubina told The Free Press earlier this week.

Responding police officers first told the family they were not investigating a potential assault because Elder Tahir had “refused” when he left the car with his fists raised toward the man, Tahirs said. But on Monday, police confirmed they were investigating.

David Phillip Lavoie, 57, of London, is charged with one count of assault and is due to appear in court on 16 February.

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