Quebec shooting: Canadian Muslims mourn victims of deadly attack on mosque
By Giuseppe Valiante
The Canadian Press | January 30, 2017
QUEBEC — The victims of a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque were fathers, businessmen, a university professor and others who had gathered for evening prayers, a Muslim community leader said Monday as he recalled through tears the horror of the attack that killed six and injured 19 others.
« It’s a very, very big tragedy for us, » said Mohamed Labidi, the vice-president of the Centre Culturel Islamique de Quebec, the mosque where the attack happened Sunday night. « We have a sadness we cannot express. »
Labidi said the victims were shot in the back.
« Security at our mosque was our major, major concern, » he said. « But we were caught off guard. »
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« Quebec Muslims are frightened right now, » said Haroun Bouazzi, president of AMAL-Quebec, a Muslim human rights group based in Montreal. « We are urgently waiting for answers as to how and why such a tragedy could occur. »
The National Council of Canadian Muslims called on law enforcement agencies around the country to increase security around mosques and Islamic centres.
« We are horrified by this despicable act of violence, » the council’s executive director Ihsaan Gardee said in a statement. « This act of wanton murder must be punished to the fullest extent of the law. »
Gardee added that the council was « heartened » by the support expressed for the Muslim community by other Canadians.