Canadians across the country hold vigils for Quebec mosque shooting victims
'You are not the only ones in mourning,' Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says to victims' loved ones
CBC News Posted: Jan 30, 2017 10:54 PM ET Last Updated: Jan 30, 2017 11:14 PM ET
Vigils were held across the country today to mourn the six men who were gunned down during evening prayers at a mosque in Quebec City Sunday night.
Azzeddine Soufiane, 57, Khaled Belkacemi, 60, Aboubaker Thabti, 44, Mamadou Tanou Barry, 42, Ibrahima Barry, 39, and Abdelkrim Hassane, 41, were shot and killed as they gathered to worship on Sunday at the Islamic cultural centre in the city's Sainte-Foy suburb.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who denounced the attack as an act of terrorism, spoke at the largest gathering in Quebec City.
Addressing the victims' friends and family, the prime minister said: "You are not the only ones in mourning. You aren't alone in this terrible sadness."
His wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, was at his side as he laid flowers for the victims.
The Trudeaus were among thousands of people who gathered in the provincial capital to mourn the victims and denounce hatred and violence.
A large crowd took to the streets of Montreal, lighting candles and carrying placards.
Hundreds of people gathered around the Centennial Flame on Parliament Hill for a sombre memorial. Gov. Gen. David Johnston was in attendance and described the shooting as an "unspeakable" act.
In Toronto, leaders of the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths came together Monday at the University of Toronto to offer prayers of love, peace and unity. Tiny flames set the faces of the crowd aglow as they murmured along with the dignitaries.
Mayor John Tory stood up to thank those who had gathered there to "convey that message that you are loved" to Muslims living in Toronto and Canada.
"They're an important part of what has built up this city," Tory told the crowd. "They are people of faith, people of family, people who are wonderful citizens and very much a part of the fabric of this great city."
Hundreds of Hamiltonians braved sub-zero temperatures Monday night to push back against Islamophobia and hatred at a rally in front of city hall.
The event, which was organized in response to the mosque shooting and also to the U.S.'s ban on refugees from seven Middle East countries, drew a crowd that packed the city hall forecourt.
The Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation organized a candlelight vigil and prayer in remembrance of the shooting victims that drew hundreds to Calgary's city hall Monday evening.
Hundreds of Winnipeggers chanted "Make racists afraid again" in unison in front of the legislature on Monday evening.
Holding signs that read "Stop the Hate" and "We are Canadian," the group also took a moment of silence for the victims of the mosque shooting in Quebec City.
At least 400 people showed up Monday evening at Lethbridge City Hall in an event organized by community members.
In Yellowknife, more than 100 people packed into the city's Islamic Centre. Muslims attending their evening prayers mixed with people just off work.
"I was listening to everybody and I cried, seeing so much support. I was thinking there was going to be support, but not that much," said Rami Kassem, who led the group in an Islamic blessing after the vigil.
In Iqaluit, residents gathered at the city's only mosque at noon.
In Yukon, people met near the totem pole at the end of Main Street at the Whitehorse Wharf with signs that said "You Are Safe Here" and "Yukoners in Solidarity with our Muslim Brothers & Sisters."
"It's very true that Muslim or not, Islamophobia divides our world, and it must be spoken by name. In the face of violence and hatred we must not be quiet," said Jessica Thompson, director of human rights for the Yukon Human Rights Commission.
Around 300 people gathered in front of city hall in Moncton, N.B. Local city council members paused their meeting to attend the vigil.
Hundreds took to the streets for a candlelight vigil on Halifax's Grand Parade. Earlier in the day, people gathered outside Dalhousie University to pay their respects.
The crowd at the vigil observed a moment of silence before a lone trumpeter softly played Bridge Over Troubled Water as a tribute.
Imam Syed Shah told the crowd the killings during prayer at the mosque Sunday were a "cowardly act."
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