Hundreds gather in Ottawa to protest against Islamophobia
An estimated 300 people turned up at the Human Rights Monument Saturday
Ottawans gathered in the streets and at a mosque on Saturday to remember the victims of last week's attack in Quebec City and fight what many say is brazen Islamophobia in North America.
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On Saturday the Ottawa Mosque hosted dozens of people for an event called "United We Stand," which coincided with a national day of action against Islamophobia.
Student counsellor Berak Hussain says there was an initial shock in the community after six worshippers were killed in a mosque last Sunday, but said many people are only now coming to terms with their fear and anxiety.
A moving morning <a href="https://twitter.com/OMA_Mosque">@OMA_Mosque</a> today as we come together in love and solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UnitedWeStand?src=hash">#UnitedWeStand</a> <a href="https://t.co/L3UPMa8FTT">pic.twitter.com/L3UPMa8FTT</a>—@CMcKennaOttawa
"Islamophobia has always been there in the undercurrents, but the reality is that fear has imploded now. And I see a lot of people who have reached out and connect in terms of getting support because they're afraid," she said.
Ottawa-Centre MP Catherine McKenna said the onus is on everyone to do more to stand up to intolerance.
"We need to do more to make sure that we're proactive — that every single day we stand up against intolerance, against hatred," she said.
As the event at the mosque came to a close, thousands of people gathered around the country as part of the national day of action against Islamophobia
In Ottawa, an estimated 300 people turned up at the Human Rights Monument, chanting and holding up signs protesting U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order that temporarily banned travel for people from seven predominately Muslim countries.
On Friday a U.S. judge ordered a halt "on a nationwide basis" to the controversial travel ban. Trump has vowed to fight the decision.
In Canada, demonstrators showed their support for inclusiveness over division.
"I've just got your back. Muslims here in Ottawa, Muslims in Quebec City," said Meagan Wiper.