Edmonton

Edmonton hosts vigil for victims of Quebec mosque shooting on first anniversary

A vigil Monday night in Edmonton will honour the victims of last year's fatal shooting at a Quebec City mosque.

'We just want to show that we are praying and thinking about the victims and we want to heal all hate'

Several people brought signs with messages of solidarity to last year's vigil in Edmonton in honour of the victims of the Quebec City mosque shooting. (Roberta Bell/CBC)

A vigil Monday night in Edmonton will honour the victims of last year's fatal shooting at a Quebec City mosque.

On Jan. 29, 2017, a gunman opened fire on the ground floor of the Islamic Cultural Centre, where men had gathered for evening prayers. Azzeddine Soufiane, Mamadou Tanou Barry, Khaled Belkacemi, Aboubaker Thabti, Ibrahima Barry and Abdelkrim Hassane were killed. Nineteen others were injured.

While Edmonton is more than 3,800 kilometres from the Quebec City suburb of Sainte-Foy, where the violence occurred, Ahmed Abdulkadir, an organizer of the vigil in Edmonton, said the shooting still resonates. 

"We are not immune to anything that happens, whether it is far away from us somewhere else in Canada or it happens somewhere in another country, " Abdulkadir said, citing globalization and the dissemination of information through social media. 

"Because of that, we just want to show that we are praying and thinking about the victims and we want to heal all hate," he said. 

"We want to show that Edmontonians with all Canada to celebrate the diversity, to celebrate unity and to reject hate in general."

Standing up to Islamophobia

Organizer Habiba Abdulle said the fact that a protest against M-103, a non-binding federal motion calling on parliamentarians to condemn Islamophobia, is expected to take place at the Alberta legislature Monday afternoon makes honouring the victims that much more important. 

"The best way to honour those lives is to stand up to Islamphobia," Abdulle said.

"We want to remember and we want to keep their names, their memory, alive. We want their families and the survivors to know that we are all standing together with them and we are combating Islamophobia."

Memorials across Canada

Other cities marking the one-year anniversary of the tragedy include Ottawa and Toronto. 

Abdulkadir said last year's emotional vigil at the Alberta legislature in honour of the shooting victims, attended by more than 1,000  people, was unforgettable. 

The show of solidarity in the face of the tragedy was healing, he said.

"It made me proud. It gave me hope that we can overcome hate," Abdulkadir said. 

Hundreds of people, including political and interfaith leaders, are expected at this year's vigil, which starts at 5:30 p.m.

now