St. John's mosque marks anniversary of Quebec shooting that killed six, injured 19
One year after six people were killed and 19 injured in a shooting in a Quebec mosque, the Muslim community in St. John's and supporters gathered at the Masjid-an-Noor mosque for a vigil.
"Today your presence here not only highlights but also signifies how traumatic that tragedy was, which had shaken the soul of the nation to the core," Mansoor Pirzada, president of the Muslim Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, told the crowd Monday night.
Halah Shahin told CBC News she was shocked by the shooting.
"It was really sad, because you don't usually think of shootings happening in Canada. Usually you think that happens south of the border," she said. "So for it to happen in Canada and to happen to the Muslim community, it just really shook the Muslim community."
Fellow Muslim Ayse Sule said she felt like members of her own family died last year. But out of the tragedy, she said, grew a greater sense of kinship with the broader community.
"It led to a great sense of sadness, vulnerability and fear. But the subsequent outpouring of support from all Canadians, from all walks of life led to a sense of relief and the gathering today confirms that outpouring of support continues, and it means a lot to us."
St. John's Mayor Danny Breen called the shooting "an act of hate," and said the city stands in solidarity with the Muslim community.
Year of outreach
"On behalf of city council, I think it's important that you know that our city is a city for all, no matter what your faith and beliefs, no matter where you are from. All people are welcome, and all cultures are celebrated in the city of St. John's."
Pirzada said the past year has been one of outreach to non-Muslims to learn how to live without fear.
"One year has gone by, and I do feel that it's time to move on, and I do feel that we have to learn some lessons from what happened, and we have been trying to do that. Our community has been trying to do that."