Canadian White Nationalist Guilty of First-Degree Murder of Muslim Family
Nathaniel Veltman, a 22-year-old Canadian white nationalist, was found guilty of first-degree murder for the premeditated truck assault that killed four members of the Afzaal family in the mid-sized Ontario city of London in June 2021, on Thursday.
Salman Afzaal, 46; Madiha Salman, 44; Yumnah, 15; and Talat, 74, were fatally struck while out for a walk near their home.
Veltman was convicted of four counts of first-degree murder and attempted murder after a ten-week trial, of which prosecutors argued sought to incorporate charges of terrorism. The jury, deliberating for six hours, found him guilty as well for injuring their nine-year-old son who was thus rendered an orphan.
The assailant, who surrendered to police after the incident, admitted to intentionally targeting Muslims, expressing anti-immigrant and anti-Islamic sentiments.
Veltman had authored a manifesto entitled “A White Awakening,” in which he outlined his hatred of Islam and opposition to mass immigration and multiculturalism.
This case has sparked concerns about the rise of Islamophobia in the country. The National Council of Canadian Muslims expressed relief at the verdict, stating that they must reflect on the violent Islamophobia that has gripped the nation and that just justice was served.
Veltman faces life imprisonment with no chance of parole for at least 25 years, despite the defense’s unsuccessful argument that mental health issues should have played a role and thus downgraded the conviction to manslaughter, with sentencing commensurate with that modification.