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quebecresponse
The terrorist attack in Quebec City that left six people dead shook the nation on January 29, when a gunman stormed into a mosque during prayer. We spoke with six Muslims at the Immigrants Working Centre’s to gain a local perspective on how this tragedy has impacted our newcomer communities.
mosque-1

My husband and I knew one of the victims killed in the attack. We lived in Quebec City for one year. We used to live very close to the mosque and go there for French classes. We really don’t like that this has happened in Canada. I am feeling very sad. We have escaped war. We don’t want this to be repeated. We feel we’ve been welcomed here and are happy to be here.”

– Joumana (translated from Arabic)

mosque-3

Governments should not bring discrimination against people of faith. This is what we have experienced in Syria – we had our different sects put against each other with hate and violence. We don’t want that to happen again. We want to be here because we are against all these things. When discrimination is voiced in international politics – that creates violence against different faiths or people groups. We want peace here.”

– Ahmed (translated from Arabic)

mosque-4

We came from war to find peace and we really found it here in Canada. This is really scary for us. We are against violence. We don’t want to be in a place again where there is war. We are looking for peace. We wish Canada to be the best place that doesn’t have people living in fear because of discrimination. If anything happens to Canada we will be at the forefront. Thank you Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for opening Canada for the Syrians to come.”

– Hannon (translated from Arabic)

ahmed

We are very upset at what has happened. It did affect us. Many innocent children, women, men, have experienced loss. It doesn’t matter if you are Muslim, Christian or Jewish, that does not matter. I refuse any kind of terrorism inside or outside of Canada.”

– Ahmed (translated from Arabic)

aseel

This was something I feared – because eventually – hate attracts hate. I am Canadian now, but because I am a visible Muslim, I fear sometimes that I might be targeted somehow. I know that if something happens, my fellow Canadian friends will be beside me and support me and my beliefs.”

– Aseel

walid

I feel Canada is a place for everyone. It’s a home for different nationalities, religions, and races. It’s a very safe place to live in. We as Syrians and Arabs, we are very upset at what has happened. We are against it. We want Canada to stay safe. That’s why we are here – we have found safety in Canada. We feel that Canada is like our home. Just like when we were back in Syria, we loved Syria. We love Canada the same way. We are very patriotic in this sense.”

– Walid (translated from Arabic)

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