A Quebec flag with the word “Open” written on it is shown in remembrance of six victims of a shooting at mosque during a vigil in Quebec City on January 30, 2017. Events are being held Wednesday in Quebec City to mark the third anniversary of the deadly mosque shooting that claimed six lives. Organizers from the citizens group “We remember January 29” said the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre where the killings occurred will open its doors to the community this afternoon, with a dinner and speeches later at an area church. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

A Quebec flag with the word “Open” written on it is shown in remembrance of six victims of a shooting at mosque during a vigil in Quebec City on January 30, 2017. Events are being held Wednesday in Quebec City to mark the third anniversary of the deadly mosque shooting that claimed six lives. Organizers from the citizens group “We remember January 29” said the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre where the killings occurred will open its doors to the community this afternoon, with a dinner and speeches later at an area church. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Solemn events to mark third anniversary of deadly Quebec City mosque shooting

Alexandre Bissonnette pleaded guilty to the killings and was sentenced to life in prison without parole for 40 years

Events are being held Wednesday in Quebec City to mark the third anniversary of the deadly mosque shooting that claimed six lives.

Organizers from the citizens group “We remember January 29” said the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre where the killings occurred will open its doors to the community this afternoon, with a dinner and speeches later at an area church.

The group organizing the events is urging Quebec City residents to participate in large numbers — calling the grim occasion a chance to come together and affirm a desire to build an open and inclusive community.

The mosque shooting left six men dead: Mamadou Tanou Barry, 42, Abdelkrim Hassane, 41, Khaled Belkacemi, 60, Aboubaker Thabti, 44, Azzeddine Soufiane, 57, and Ibrahima Barry, 39.

They left behind their wives and 17 children between them, while several others were injured when the gunman opened fire inside the mosque in the provincial capital’s Ste-Foy district.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged the anniversary by calling on Canadians to honour the memory of the victims by fighting Islamophobia and other forms of hatred and discrimination.

“Today, we mourn those who were senselessly killed, and suffered at the hands of ignorance, Islamophobia, and racism,” Trudeau said in a statement. “We share the pain of their children, spouses, friends, and neighbours, who were robbed of their loved ones far too soon. Our thoughts are also with those injured, whose lives forever changed after this brutal and inhumane attack.”

Boufeldja Benabdallah, president of the mosque, said in a recent interview the local Muslim community has seen many “highs and lows” in the three years since the shooting, but overall things have improved.

He noted that people have resumed their lives and returned to work, finding some serenity.

But while the community has moved forward with announcements like the creation of the region’s first Islamic cemetery and a million-dollar renovation to enlarge and secure the mosque, he said the province’s controversial secularism law casts a cloud.

The law, known as Bill 21, bans some civil servants from wearing religious symbols at work — something Benabdallah said targets Muslims in particular.

“Once again, we feel in the minority and targeted, especially the Muslim woman who finds herself penalized,” Benabdallah said, calling the legislation a significant setback.

Premier Francois Legault, whose government introduced Bill 21, and Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume are scheduled to attend the community dinner.

Last year, the commemoration was held at Universite Laval, while in 2018, there were four days of activities culminating in an outdoor gathering attended by hundreds, including leaders of all federal and provincial parties.

Alexandre Bissonnette pleaded guilty to the killings and last year was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole for 40 years — a sentence that was the subject of appeals by both the Crown and defence during a hearing at the Quebec Court of Appeal Monday.

READ MORE: Quebec Court of Appeal to hear Alexandre Bissonnette appeals

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Quebec

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
65 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Overall, B.C. is seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases

Photo of handguns and illicit drugs Trail RCMP reported to have seized from a Trail man on Sunday. Photo: Trail RCMP
Drugs and guns seized from Trail man

A call came into the detachment that a man was asleep behind the wheel

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

Rain clouds were absent for most of April in the West Kootenay. Photo: Betsy Kline
April precipitation only one-third of normal in West Kootenay

Third month in a row with below average rain fall

The Trail RCMP is sharing a warning that originated with the Nova Scotia RCMP regarding an online sexual exploitation scam targeting youth. Photo: Mohammad Metri on Unsplash
Trail RCMP warn of digital sexploitation scheme targeting youth

Police want to get the message out to victims that you are not alone.

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police “E” Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on Friday April 13, 2018. Indigenous leaders are calling for an investigation into the conduct of Mounties on Vancouver Island after two police shootings of members of a small First Nations community in three months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Indigenous leaders call for clarity, investigation into RCMP after B.C. shooting

The RCMP declined to comment on the requests by Indigenous leaders

Colleen Price, Vancouver Island University’s bachelor of science in nursing program chairperson, says she is impressed with how students have persevered through the COVID-19 pandemic. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Next generation of B.C. nurses already showing resilience

University program head says learning had to be adjusted amidst pandemic

Two-year-old Kashius Weme rides at the Steve Smith Memorial Bike Park in Nanaimo on Tuesday, May 11. The youngster’s precocious bike-riding ability is already attracting cycle sponsors. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
2-year-old B.C. bike rider already attracting cycle sponsors

Nanaimo’s Kashius Weme has a knack for extreme cycle sports

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)
Sunfest country music bash won’t be shining on B.C. in 2021

Annual Vancouver Island Festival cancelled due to COVID-19, along with Laketown Shakedown

Most Read