Solemn tributes to victims of mosque massacre aim to unite rather than divide
Published Friday, February 3, 2017 4:21PM MST
Last Updated Friday, February 3, 2017 6:42PM MST
A number of vigils were held in Calgary on Friday to honour the memory of those lost to an act of violence and to reaffirm a sense of community in divisive times.
Outside city hall, dozens of people from different faiths and backgrounds came together in a show of strength and unity following the deaths of six people brutally slaughtered in a Quebec City mosque earlier this week. The group stood in solidarity against oppression and Islamophobia.
An afternoon ceremony at the Genesis Centre of Community Wellness in the city’s northeast included interfaith prayer and reflection and an imam, a rabbi and a priest addressed attendees.
“These tragedies should bring us together as people of all faiths, as Canadians as human beings,” said Syed Soharwardy, a local imam. “We should not be divided by these tragedies. We should come together because someone is trying to divide us and we refuse to be divided and to be intimidated and we refuse to accept any forms of violence.”
Members of the Calgary Police Service informed the gathering of their increased police presence at local mosques in the days following the tragedy in Quebec and the commitment to ensure the safety of all Calgarians.
Mosques across Canada, including Calgary, opened their doors to the general public on Friday. The ‘Visit A Mosque’ campaign promoted unity and misunderstanding while attempting to dispel myths surrounding the Muslim faith and its followers.
With files from CTV’s Alesia Fieldberg