QUEBEC – A solemn Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke of sadness and solidarity with Canada’s Muslim community Monday, January 30, as the country reeled amid the aftermath of a deadly, hate-fueled “act of terror” at a mosque in Quebec City.
“It was an attack on our most intrinsic and cherished values as Canadians — values of openness, diversity and freedom of religion,” he said of the shooting that claimed the lives of six people and injured a dozen others Sunday night.
“To the more than 1 million Canadians who profess the Muslim faith, I want to say directly: we are with you; 36 million hearts are breaking with yours.”
A few dozen people were inside Centre Culturel Islamque de Québec (the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec) in the Sainte-Foy neighborhood of Quebec City for the evening prayers when the shooting began just before 8 pm.
Quebec provincial police say six people were killed and eight injured in the shooting incident.
Trudeau was speaking in the Parliament’s first day back following the Christmas break.
He praised diversity and inclusion at a time when the country he leads is grappling with a profound shift in the other direction south of the border.
Speaking first in French then English, Trudeau said a “group of innocents” — six people dead and many others seriously wounded – were “targeted for practicing their faith.”
“Make no mistake, this was a terrorist attack,” said Trudeau, as the Canadian flag on the Peace Tower flew at half mast.
“It was an attack on our most intrinsic and cherished values as Canadians — values of openness, diversity, and freedom of religion.”