QUEBEC: People across the country came together Monday evening to mourn those who lost their lives in a shooting at a Quebec City mosque.
In Quebec City, thousands gathered outside the Islamic Cultural Centre to show support for the loved ones of six men who were killed and 19 who were injured while attending an evening prayer on Sunday.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke, telling the crowd Canada stands with the Muslim community and will protect their right to gather together and pray.
“We are with you. Thirty-six million hearts are breaking with yours,” Trudeau said earlier on Monday, in a formal statement at the House of Commons.
— Andy Blatchford (@AndyBlatchford) January 30, 2017
Alexandre Bissonnette, 27, has been charged with six counts of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder.
The victims included Azzeddine Soufiane, a father of three and local grocer; Khaled Belkacemi, a food sciences professor at Universite Laval and a father; and Abdelkrim Hassane, a government IT worker and father. Two victims, Mamadou Tanou Barry and Ibrahima Barry, were close friends from Guinea.
In Ottawa, hundreds met around the Centennial Flame on Parliament Hill for a moment of silence.
And in Montreal, mourners held signs reading “all we need is humanity” and “paix,” which means “peace” in French.
“I don’t understand hurting people in a place of worship, or anywhere else for that matter,” Deirdre Lee told CBC News at a vigil at Dalhousie University in Halifax.
A Vancouver mosque held a vigil Monday night and is also planning on holding an event for awareness of Islamophobia.
“If you slay a person, it’s as if you’ve slain all of the humanity, but if you save somebody, it’s as if you’ve saved all of the humanity,” said trustee Haroon Khan, in an interview with News 1130.
“As a community, we must stand together with the victims and one another against hatred,” read the Calgary vigil’s Facebook event.
Messages of love and support also poured in from around the globe.
The Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre has set up a donation page to support the victims’ families.