On Jan. 29, a mass shooting occurred at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec, a mosque in Quebec City. The suspected shooter, a student of Laval University, opened fire on the 39 men who were praying in the mosque while women and children were upstairs. At the time of writing, nineteen people were injured, five are in critical condition, and six are dead.
Though the motive of the shooter is still unknown, their crime may force many to feel afraid to practice their faith. The victims were targeted during prayer, a time of vulnerability during which they should feel the most safe. We would like to express our deepest sympathies to the victims of this shameful terrorist attack. We offer our support for Muslim people in the province of Quebec and beyond. We condemn the Islamophobic and xenophobic rhetoric underpinning political legislation both south of the border and more subtly ingrained here, in Quebec. Let this appalling act be a reminder that Canadians are not exempt from perpetuating racial prejudice, faith-based discrimination, and targeted violence.
For students of McGill who have been affected by the attack, especially Muslim students, we offer our condolences. For those who are seeking guidance or counselling during this difficult time, the McGill Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (MORSL) has chaplains from many faiths who are available for support, and McGill’s Mental Health Hub can connect students to a variety of support systems on campus. For those looking to connect to a community during this time, both McGill and Concordia have active Muslim Students Associations. As a university, we must demonstrate our commitment to the inclusion of people of all faiths. It is important, now more than ever, to find room for the faith of Muslim students on campus.
If you have been affected by this tragedy and would like a platform to speak out about it, please contact us by submitting a Letter to the Editor to [email protected] (max. 400 words) or tagging Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook posts with @mcgilltribune.
April Barrett, Julia Dick, Natalie Vineberg, Nicholas Jasinski, Albert Park, Audrey Carleton, Joe Khammar, Holly Cabrera, Noah Sutton, Lydia Kaprelian, Daniel Lutes, Clare Lyle, Domitille Biehlmann, Daniel Freed, Jackie Houston, Sara Cullen, Calvin Trottier-Chi, Evelyn Goessling, David Watson, Lauren Benson-Armer, Selin Altuntur, Areni Nicoghosian, Aaron Rose