Vigils held across Nova Scotia in wake of Quebec mosque attack
'With all the hate spewed, it also brings awareness,' says Muslim who grew up in Canada
Nova Scotians came out to support the Muslim community at vigils after an attack Sunday night at a mosque in Quebec City left six people dead and 19 more injured.
In Halifax, hundreds of students packed the quad Monday afternoon at Dalhousie University for a vigil in solidarity for those killed.
Heads were hung in prayer and the crowd observed a moment of silence for the victims and their families.
Leaders of the Dalhousie Muslim Student Association spoke to the crowd, many holding lit candles.
"It's very sad, very frightening," said Bridget McEwan, who converted to Islam five years ago.
"I don't understand hurting people in a place of worship, or anywhere else for that matter," said Deirdre Lee, her arms locked with two of her Muslim friends after the vigil on campus.
"There's a light at the end of every tunnel. With all the hate spewed, it also brings awareness," said Sumaya El-Falah, a Muslim who grew up in Canada.
El-Falah's father attends a mosque for prayer five times a day.
"When everything happened I thought about him."
'We will not close our hearts'
Thousands more attended a vigil in Grand Parade as a Quebec flag flew at half-mast overhead.
City hall was opened as a space for Muslims to perform their evening prayer.
"I stand here tonight with a heavy heart," said provincial Immigration Minister Lena Diab.
"We condemn this attack on a centre of worship and refuge. We will not close our hearts, but open them to all."
'Terrorism has no religion'
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the attack an "act of terrorism".
Speakers at the vigil mirrored Trudeau's statements.
"The definition of terrorism must be fair, equitable and universal," said Jamal Badawi. "Terrorism has no religion"
Vigils were also held in Digby, as well as throughout the rest of the country.