VIGIL

Vigil at Dalhousie remembers victims of Quebec City mosque massacre

Six people killed and 19 injured in Jan. 29, 2017, shooting

Masuma Khan speaks at the vigil held outside Dalhousie’s Henry Hicks Building on Monday.   Sonia Koshy

“How many of us need to die before you believe that this is what’s happening?”

These were Masuma Khan’s emotional words at the vigil held Monday to remember those who lost their lives in the deadly Quebec City mosque massacre.

The Dalhousie Muslim Student Association organized the vigil in front of the Henry Hicks Building at Dalhousie University to mark the first anniversary of the shooting.

On Jan. 29, 2017, a man with a gun entered a Quebec City mosque and fired, killing six people and injuring 19 others. The suspect, Alexandre Bissonnette, faces six counts of first-degree murder and will stand trial in March. 

Multiple speeches, along with a song and a moment of silence, were observed to remember the six men who died.

Khan, a member of the Dalhousie Muslim Student Association, said she didn’t want people to forget one of the worst shootings in Canadian history.

“Outpouring support shouldn’t just be on this day, but the question is why isn’t this support there all the time?” she said in an interview. “Do we have to die before you give us your support?”

Beata Elliott, a first-year student, came to the vigil to show solidarity with the Muslim community.  

“There’s a tendency to say this stuff doesn’t happen in Canada,” said Elliott. “I think we need to acknowledge that this is a problem in Canada and we should be talking about this.”

Mahbubur Rahman, a recent Dalhousie graduate spoke during the vigil. 

“The most beautiful time of a man, who is religious, is to pray to his creator,” he said. “The worst thing that can happen to that person is when someone kills that person.”

Rahman said diversity needs to be embraced and treated as strength. 

“We need to educate each other, so that we can live with our diversity and not use it as a source for creating hatred,” he said.