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‘Islamophobia exists,’ Montreal Muslim community in shock following Quebec City mosque attack

WATCH ABOVE: Samer Majzoub discusses his thoughts after six people have been killed in a mosque shooting.

The Muslim community in Quebec is reeling after the attacks on a Quebec City mosque Sunday night.

READ MORE: Quebec City terrorist attack on mosque kills 6, injures 8

“Shocking. Even in our worst nightmares, we would not have even thought such a terror, such a magnitude of an attack could even happen,” said Samer Majzoub, Canadian Muslim Forum president on Global News Morning.

“One of the men that was killed yesterday left his four kids, but said ‘I will be back in five, six minutes. He’s back, but unfortunately back to be buried. How shocking, how sad is this?”

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The suspect has since been identified as Alexandre Bissonnette.

He faces six charges of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder with a restricted firearm.

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WATCH: Global Montreal’s Senior Anchor Jamie Orchard speaks to Chedly Belkhodja, a professor at Concordia’s School of Community and Public Affairs about what appears to be an increasing trend of young, white males being radicalized out of fear.
The radicalization of young, white males
The radicalization of young, white males

The suspect stormed into the Centre Culturel Islamique de Quebec in Sainte-Foy as people were praying and opened fire, killing six and injuring at least eight others.

“We have to be honest about this. Islamophobia is rising and has been rising for so long,” said Majzoub.

“We don’t have to hide this. We have been screaming loudly to say, ‘Islamophobia exists.’ It should not be denied. “

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WATCH BELOW: SQ on Quebec City mosque attack

Majzoub said he doesn’t believe the attack had anything to do with Donald Trump’s Muslim ban in the U.S.

Rather, he argued the attack must have been planned in advance.

“I don’t think the community has slept. I have been receiving phone calls from parents: ‘do we send our children to schools?'” Majzoub said.

READ MORE: Canadian leaders express outrage and shock at Quebec mosque attack

“Imagine it this way, we have to wake up to this. This is Canada. This is not any other place. We are not witnessing a civil war here. This is extremely sad, very alarming.”

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Majzoub said he hopes authorities continue to take the situation as seriously as possible.

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“When we have hatred of freedom of speech, sometimes there will be crazy people coming to express it on their own way and unfortunately, we see terror in Quebec City,” he said.

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“The shock waves, by the way, are not limited to Quebec City or Montreal or Quebec or even Canada. It is all over the world.”

WATCH BELOW: Attack at Quebec City mosque

Vigils and increased security

Montreal police chief Philippe Pichet said Monday there will be an increased police presence at mosques and around Montreal following the attack.

READ MORE: Montreal police increasing presence around mosques after Quebec City attack

Flags at City Hall in Montreal and the National Assembly in Quebec City will fly at half-mast.

A mass vigil is set to be held at the Jean-Talon train station, by the Parc Metro exit at 6 p.m. Monday.

Another vigil is set to take place at the Saint-Michel Metro station at 5:30 p.m.

In a message to Quebec’s Muslim community Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard said, “We are with you, this is your home, we are all Quebecers.”

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READ MORE: Anti-Muslim incidents in Quebec: a timeline

The centre was also the target of vandalism last summer when a pig’s head was delivered to it during Ramadan.

rachel.lau@globalnews.ca