Winnipeg – Dozens of Winnipeggers gathered at the Central Mosque to honour the victims of the tragedy that took place in Paris, France on Wednesday.
“This is something we wanted to be out in the public and speak out against violence,” said Idris Knapp, director at the mosque. “As we should, as Muslims.”
A couple of concerning phone calls earlier in the day initially prompted Muslim leaders to consider additional security. Shahina Siddiqui, one of the organizers, said the phone calls weren’t threatening, just concerning, but in the end they did not end up requesting security. Three police officers did attend as guests.
“It was just an invitation that went out to the police and the RCMP that I sent to all sectors of society,” said Siddiqui.
The vigil was peaceful and turnout exceeded the organizers expectations.
“I am so touched and so humbled and so pleased that there were so many Winnipeggers out from every background and every faith,” said Siddiqui.
Various speakers addressed the importance of standing strong against terrorism and sticking together as a community.
“It’s so nice to see all the nations here represented, all different ethnicities. We have to live in peace and unity,” said Bruno Burnichon, Honorary Consul of France in Winnipeg.
A vigil was also held at The Forks the evening of the tragedy, put on by the French community.