The Council of Canadians expresses its condolences to the families and community of those killed and wounded at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec last night.
CBC now reports, “Quebec provincial police say six people are dead and eight were wounded after shots were fired inside a mosque on Sunday night during evening prayers. …At the moment of the attack, the men were praying on the ground floor of the building, while women and children were upstairs. …The victims range in age from 35 to 70. Some of the wounded are considered to be in critical condition.”
This morning the centre posted on its Facebook page, “All our thoughts for the children we must announce to them the death of their dads. May Allah lend them patience and endurance.”
Quebec-based Council of Canadians Board member Abdul Pirani says, “Friends and families of victims are in our thoughts and prayers.”
Vigils are planned in Quebec City and Montreal today.
Council of Canadians campaigner Daniel Cayley-Daoust has also been helping to organize a rally for today outside the US Embassy in Ottawa against President Donald Trump’s recent executive order that bans travellers from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.
Cayley-Daoust says, “This is why hate cannot be left to fester unopposed and we need to come out in bigger numbers for the rally in Ottawa. Policies of exclusion and separation need to be unacceptable, always. Thoughts, strength and prayers to all the families, friends, neighbors of people affected by the shooting in Quebec City, all those detained in the US, and anyone who has had hardship thrust upon them by border and unjust immigration policies. See you in the streets. Now as much as ever is the time to step up and build open, welcome and resilient communities.”
A national day of action against Islamophobia will also take place on February 4.
CBC notes, “The Islamic cultural centre of Quebec [where the killings took place] has been the target of vandals in the past. Last June, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, a pig’s head was left on the doorstep of the mosque.”
Al Jazeera adds, “Incidents of Islamophobia have increased in Quebec in recent years. The full-face covering became a big issue in the 2015 Canadian federal election, especially in Quebec, where the majority of the population supported a ban on it at citizenship ceremonies. In 2013, police investigated an incident in which a mosque in the Saguenay region of the province was splattered with what was believed to be pig blood. In the neighbouring province of Ontario, a mosque [in Peterborough] was set on fire in 2015, a day after an attack by gunmen and suicide bombers in Paris.”
The Council of Canadians supports diversity and inclusion, and rejects racism and Islamophobia.
Peterborough chapter expresses solidarity with the Al-Salaam mosque (November 22, 2015)
PEI chapter organizes solidarity rally for refugees and Muslims (December 11, 2015)
Guelph chapter presented award by Muslim Society of Guelph (January 20, 2017)