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Montreal chapter at funeral for three killed at attack on mosque

Abdelkrim Hassane, Khaled Belkacemi, Aboubaker Thabti

The Council of Canadians Montreal chapter attended the funeral for Abdelkrim Hassane, Khaled Belkacemi and Aboubaker Thabti this afternoon.

The Montreal Gazette reports, “Thousands of mourners gathered at Montreal’s Maurice-Richard Arena Thursday for a funeral service for three of the six victims on Sunday’s attack on a mosque in Quebec City. The service was open to the public. A member of Montreal’s Muslim community began the ceremonies, reading out the names of the victims, all fathers. ‘We will miss you’, she said.”

Toronto Star, CTV and Globe and Mail articles tell us a bit about their lives:

Abdelkrim Hassane, 41, had two young children. Born in Algeria, Hassane had studied computer engineering at the University of Science and Technology – Houari Boumediene, near Algiers. He was a civil servant, working as an analyst-programmer for the Quebec government after a stint in IT for the provincial police.

Khaled Belkacemi, 60, and his wife, who is a professor at a local university, had three children. Belkacemi studied engineering at the Polytechnic School in Algeria and completed his M.Sc. and Ph.D. at the University of Sherbrooke. He was a professor in the department of soil sciences and food engineering at Laval University.

Aboubaker Thabti, 44, had a 3 year old daughter and a 10 year old son. Thabti, emigrated to Canada from Tunisia in 2011. He had worked in a pharmacy in Tunis before moving to Canada.

Also killed in the attack were Mamadou Tanou Barry, 42, Azzeddine Soufiane, 57, and Ibrahima Barry, 39.

In The Globe and Mail today, Sheema Khan wrote, “Last Sunday, as six men were gunned down, 17 children lost a father, six women were instantly widowed. A community shattered. Lives irreparably damaged by a hate-filled individual who took advantage of a mosque’s open doors to kill and maim Muslims in prayer. Not in the United States, but in the heart of la belle province.”

She then highlighted, “The goal of extremists is to sow hatred, division and fear. We must not let them succeed. Instead, let us become soldiers of inclusion, armed with compassion, ready to confront xenophobia in all its forms. Apathy is not an option.”

Earlier this week, the Montreal chapter attended a vigil along with thousands of others at the corner of Jean Talon Boulevard and Park Avenue.

On Sunday night, the evening of the attack, The Council of Canadians said, “Our love and thoughts are with the families and community. We must all stand together against Islamophobia and hate.”

Photos taken by Montreal chapter activist and Board of Directors member Abdul Pirani.