Ottawa

Memorial held on Parliament Hill after 'unspeakable' Quebec mosque shooting

Hundreds of people gathered on Parliament Hill in Ottawa Monday after six people were killed and 19 injured in an attack Sunday on a Quebec City mosque. You can watch it here.

Six killed, 19 injured in Sunday night attack

Hundreds of people showed up on Parliament Hill on Jan. 30, 2017, for a memorial for the victims of a fatal shooting at a Quebec City mosque. (Julie Ireton/CBC)

Hundreds of people gathered around the Centennial Flame on Parliament Hill for a sombre memorial after six people were killed and 19 injured in an attack Sunday on a Quebec City mosque.

CBC Ottawa streamed the gathering live, and you can watch it here.

Gov. Gen. David Johnston, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and Amira Elghawaby from the National Council of Canadian Muslims were among the speakers.

Johnston described the shooting as an "unspeakable" act. Hussen, meanwhile, talked about how he had taken his three young children to the mosque in the past.

"I view mosques and places of worship as places where people go in search of peace and a moment of reflection," Hussen said. 

"And to find out, last night, that that very place of worship and tranquility was turned into place where an act of terrorism was committed is contrary to all that we hold dear."

Hussen said Canadians must stand shoulder to shoulder and strengthen each other, a call that was met with the muffled claps of gloved hands on a frigid Ottawa evening.

Ghadeer Abou-Shakra said the event strengthened her belief in her fellow Canadians.

"It's sad because Canadians don't have hate in their hearts. We've never experienced this," she said. "I woke up this morning with friends texting me and saying, we love you, we welcome you here, and you're accepted."

The memorial concluded with a moment of silence and a solemn singing of O Canada.

Mohammed Lahlou, imam of the Aylmer Mosque, spoke at a memorial for victims of the the Quebec mosque shooting. (Robyn Miller/CBC)

Memorial in Gatineau

Another memorial was also scheduled to take place Monday afternoon at the Aylmer Mosque in Gatineau.

Imam Mohammed Lahlou was pleasantly surprised at the turnout for that event, which included leaders from several faith groups.

"Tonight, I'm so surprised," Lahlou said. "I didn't expect such number of Canadian fellows coming to support us, to send us some warm messages, prayers, thoughts, to support our community. They made me proud, belonging to this warm society, this welcoming country."

Ghadeer Abou-Shakra and Susan Derby came to the Monday evening memorial together. (Julie Ireton/CBC)

Lahlou said he would be doing his best, through his speeches and other activities, to rebuild the feeling of safety and security in the community.

The Aylmer Mosque, however, has suspended some of its programming as its membership deals with the shock of the recent attack.

The fatal shooting happened at around 8 p.m. Sunday during evening prayers at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec (Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec).

On Monday, Quebec police arrested and charged 28-year-old Alexandre Bissonnette with six counts of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder.

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