Six years after Quebec mosque deadly shooting, Muslims have launched the fifth annual Muslim Awareness Week in Montreal, inviting Quebecers to learn more about their Muslim neighbors through various cultural events.
“This week is about sharing the contributions of Quebec Muslims and broadening our understanding of the kind of society we believe is within reach – a society based on equity and inclusion for all,” said Samira Laouni, Chair and co-founder of MAW, Muslim Link reported.
“We are heartbroken every time we recall the horrific attack on the Centre Culturel Islamique du Québec. Six Québec Muslims never came home that night after attending evening prayers; their families will feel that pain for a long time.
“What gives us hope is the outpouring of love that we continue to feel from our fellow citizens.”
MAW runs from Wednesday, January 25 to Tuesday, January 31st. This year’s theme is “Bridging the gap against Islamophobia”.
Members of various faith communities, as well as politicians and academics, including world renowned philosopher Charles Taylor, will participate in the events held during the week.
Organizers say awareness is crucial at a time when hate crimes against Muslims are on the rise.
“Get to know us, get acquainted with our achievements, aspirations and concerns,” said Samaa Elibyari, an organizer of Muslim Awareness Week, Global News reported.
“We realize that ignorance was the root cause.”
Six years ago, a Canadian lone gunman opened fire at a mosque in Quebec City on January 29, 2017.
Alexandre Bissonnette, the man responsible for the Quebec City mosque shooting, has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 40 years.
With partners in Montreal, Laval, Longueuil, Gatineau, Brossard and Quebec City, MAW is offering a series of in-person and online activities, in French and English, that highlight the diversity of Quebec’s Muslim communities in a variety of fields, including the arts, civic engagement and climate justice.
And, as it does every year, MAW is also organizing a vigil on January 29.