Winnipeg Muslims rally against terrorism
WINNIPEG — Members of Winnipeg’s Muslim community rallied on the steps of the legislative building Sunday, condemning the acts of terrorism in Ottawa and Quebec less than two weeks ago.
The group gathered to show their solidarity with their country, which lost two soldiers at the hands of jihadist sympathizers.
“We stand shoulder to shoulder with you and we stand for Canada, and we do not support terrorism. In fact, we condemn terrorism,” said Zulfiqar Ali, a Canadian Muslim.
Maham Malik Choudhry was at Parliament Hill days before the Oct. 22 attack that killed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, a sentry at the National War Memorial.
“I was right there two days prior to the shooting, with my family, taking a tour, and I thought to myself, ‘What was he thinking?’ It could have been myself, it could have been my family, I could have been shot, it could have been any of the other soldiers,” said Choudhry, a Canadian Muslim.
Cirillo was shot and killed in Ottawa two days after Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent was run down by a car in Quebec. It left a country in mourning and sparked some backlash against Muslims.
“So far we have had nothing but acceptance and support from the Canadian community in Winnipeg,” said Bashir Khan, a Canadian Muslim.
But in other cities across Canada anti-Muslim hate crimes have taken place, including the defacing of a mosque in Alberta.
“I think it’s the ignorance towards each other that leads to the hate and leads to that hate crime,” said Choudhry.
But on a week when Canada buried two of its soldiers, solidarity is the message Winnipeg’s Muslim community is pushing.