Bowman vows to fight Islamophobia 'with every fibre of my being' after mosque attack
Police chief says Muslim community may notice more officers at mosques and schools
Mayor Brian Bowman condemned and denounced Sunday's deadly attack on worshippers at the Islamic Cultural Centre in Quebec City.
"We stand united and in solidarity with our friends from the province of Quebec including those who subscribe to the teachings of Islam," Bowman said at a press conference Monday afternoon.
The Sunday night mosque shooting left six dead and five others injured in hospital. One suspect is in custody. Flags at Winnipeg's City Hall were lowered Monday in honour of the victims.
The mayor promised to protect Muslims in Winnipeg.
"We'll do everything in our power and certainly I will fight with every fibre of my being to combat Islamophobia and discrimination," he said. "Muslims in our community need to know that we stand united with them."
At the same press conference, Winnipeg police Chief Danny Smyth said the force does not plan to increase security measures in response to the shooting, but members of the Muslim community may notice more police officers in and around mosques and schools.
"I really want to reassure the Muslim community that we support them and that we stand with them," he said. "This is a message of unity."
The police chief said he spoke with leaders from police forces across Canada earlier on Monday and described a "heightened awareness and concern," for the Muslim community.
While the national investigation into the cause of Sunday's attack does not extend to Winnipeg, he said, if Winnipeggers see something suspicious they should report it to police.
Idris Elbakri, a former president of the Manitoba Islamic Association, said it is important for Winnipeg to remain guarded against attacks such as the one in Quebec.
"We always have the assumption that things cannot happen here," he said. "We have to be careful and vigilant."
Elbakri said the community has been touched by the support it's received since the attack.
"In sadness and tragedy we find beauty and mercy," he said.
Two events are taking place to honour victims of Sunday's shooting attack in Winnipeg. A vigil will be held at 6:15 p.m. at the Manitoba Legislative Building and at 8 p.m. special prayers will be held at Winnipeg's Grand Mosque.