At approximately 7 pm EST, a large group of Muslim worshipers came under attack while attending Isha prayers at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec. Two shooters wearing ski masks burst on to the main floor of the mosque and opened fire at unsuspecting worshipers amidst evening prayers. Six people have been killed while many others have been wounded. Witnesses could not identify the assailants but recognized their strong Quebecois accents.
Quebec police say they will not be releasing the names of the arrested suspects for strategic and operational reasons. They are however treating this deadly incident as a terrorist attack coming shortly after President Trumps ban on Muslims from Syria, Sudan, Iraq, Iran, Yemen and Libya from entering the United States.
Tonight at 6:30 pm, community members of all faiths in Edmonton and Calgary will be holding a candlelight vigil at the legislature building and city hall respectively. Canadians across the country are standing in solidarity with the victims and their families.
In a statement, Chairman of Think for Actions, Dr. Mukurram Ali Zaidi said: “We condemn the violence, loss of life, fear among the community and the division this thoughtless act has caused. This is a shock to us all living in Canada. It is a sad time in our history that we have to witness such a test to our values. We will come together as one nation and with time we will defeat fear and embrace diversity.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his grief in a statement: “On behalf of all Canadians, Sophie and I offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of all those who have died, and we wish a speedy recovery to those who have been injured. The Prime Minister also tweeted:
Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard stated on social media: “Quebec categorically rejects this barbaric violence. All our solidarity is with the loved ones of the victims, the injured and their families.”
This is the second attack occurring at this mosque. Last summer, a severed pig’s head was left at the mosque’s front door accompanied by a note saying “Bon appétit.”