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dimanche 17 mars 2019

Group calls Montrealers to Sunday vigil for victims of Christchurch attack

A group called the Mouvement des droits du Citoyen is calling on people to attend a vigil to be held Sunday afternoon in downtown Montreal for the victims of the mass shootings carried out at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The vigil is scheduled to take place at 2 p.m. Sunday at Victoria Square, at the corner of du Square-Victoria St. and Viger Ave. W.

In a release, the group stated that it “condemns with the strongest words the act of terror against Muslim worshippers in Christchurch mosques. This act is not directed only at Muslims, but it is an act of terrorism against all of humanity and all values.” The group hopes people will turn out in large numbers “in solidarity against hate and Islamophobia.”

Gatherings both formal and informal have been taking place across Canada and around the world since forty-nine people were killed and dozens more were injured when a man opened fire in two on Friday in mass shootings carried out in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. It is the worst mass killing in N.Z. history.

In Quebec City, where just over two years ago six died when their own community was attacked, painful memories and fears were rekindled. “Life had returned to normal, people had started to breathe, to rest, our activities had resumed,” Boufeldja Benabdallah, president and co-founder of the Quebec City mosque, told the Montreal Gazette Friday.

“Now with this, we again have to rethink security, vigilance and to relive the pain. People are remembering the funerals, the weeks some spent in hospitals, the children who don’t have their fathers. Many things. A great weight that people are feeling once again today. It’s very, very painful.”

In Ottawa, Muslims gathered in support and sadness on Friday, but also fear. When Abdel Felfel told his daughter, Rahmah, that he was going to prayer at the Ottawa Mosque on Friday, the nine-year-old became very concerned for her father’s safety. He told her not to worry and assured her that Canada was a much better place and that what happened in Christchurch couldn’t happen here. But Felfel, a trustee of the Ottawa Muslim Association, wasn’t convinced that what he told her was true.

“I have doubts about that,” he admitted before Friday’s 1 p.m. prayer. “These attackers are not too many, but they are sleeping wolves and you never know when they will attack. The threat is there, and it’s real.”


Here are some images from gatherings and other gestures of support on Friday and Saturday.

An Ottawa police officer takes part in Friday prayer at the Ottawa Mosque.

The flag flies at half-mast on Canada’s parliament building in Ottawa in memory of the N.Z victims.

People gather at Baitul Islam Mosque during a special prayer in Vaughan, Ont., on Friday.

Crowds gather for a vigil in Auckland Friday.

‘Gilets jaunes’ protesters in Paris expresses support with a sign.

An Indian muslim woman holds a placard during a silent vigil in Hyderabad early Saturday.

Turkish people shout slogans during a demonstration to condemn the attack early Saturday in Ankara.

Crowds gathered Friday in Aukland for a vigil in memory of the victims.

A vigil in Vancouver

Indian Muslims pray in Ahmedabad on Saturday in solidarity with the dead and injured.

The Ottawa Citizen contributed to this report.

from Montreal Gazette

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