QUEBEC — A little more than two years after their own community came under attack, Muslims in Quebec City said they were in shock over the mass shootings at two New Zealand mosques Friday that claimed at least 49 lives.
Their horror was echoed by members of other Muslim communities across the country as they offered condolences to the grieving families and spoke out against extremism.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned as “absolutely appalling” the attack on worshippers attending Friday prayers in Christchurch.
“Hate has no place anywhere,” Trudeau said in a statement. “We must all confront Islamophobia and work to create a world in which all people — no matter their faith, where they live, or where they were born — can feel safe and secure.”
Attacking people during prayers is absolutely appalling, and Canada strongly condemns today’s shootings in New Zealand. Our thoughts and hearts go out to the victims and their families, and we join New Zealanders and Muslim communities around the world in grieving.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) March 15, 2019
Boufeldja Benabdallah, the head of the Quebec City Islamic Cultural Centre, said a feeling of “indescribable pain” was apparent in his own community. He extended condolences to the New Zealand victims and expressed concern for families in Quebec City being forced to relive the Jan. 29, 2017 attack that left six men dead.
“I’m convinced they are feeling a terrible pain. Imagine the children of those families here in Quebec who are hearing it on the radio and will watch their mothers cry and ask, ‘Why are you crying?’ ” Benabdallah said.
“The mothers will remember the 29th, when they ran to get husbands who were killed by Alexandre Bissonnette.”
Benabdallah added that amid the mourning, it is time for people to speak out against extremism and for lawmakers to legislate against it.
“We must get back to work once again to explain, to tell these extremists of all stripes who politicize religion, like extremists who use race as a basis for discrimination, that we must change,” Benabdallah said. “The world cannot continue like this.”
Police in many cities across the country said they were stepping up patrols around places of worship on Friday and communicating with local Muslim communities about their security concerns.
“We will have a heightened police presence in the community, focusing on places of worship — especially mosques. We have done this to ensure the city is as safe and …read more
Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Travel