Hundreds gathered on the steps of Lethbridge City Hall to honour the six men killed at a Quebec City mosque Monday evening.
“We need to come together as a community,” vigil organizer Erin Phillips said. “We wanted to be able to say to the Muslim community that there are many of us, most of us, all of us, who are glad that they are part of our community and that we are here to support them.”
Members of the Lethbridge Muslim community spoke to the crowd that stood in candlelight, preaching love, acceptance and diversity.
“It was just shocking to me to hear the news happening in Canada,” Dr. Naji Saleh said. “We hear some bad news happening down south of the border. But, happening in Canada, it was very shocking to me and very saddening to us, all of us.”
Although shocked at the news of the shooting, Adam Browning spoke on behalf of the Lethbridge Muslim Association about how to move forward after this tragedy.
“There was an incident that happened yesterday. But, I think that there is a greater divisiveness that we’re seeing and there is also a response to that,” Browning said. “The response of people in airports, in communities, who are coming out to say that we’re one people and that we’re not looking at barriers, we’re looking at bridges.”
“That’s meant a lot to our community.”
Some Lethbridge city councilors as well as Lethbridge west MLA Shannon Phillips were in attendance. The community leaders condemned the brutal act of violence.
“I think it’s time as Albertan’s and as Canadians that we recommit ourselves to inclusivity, to diversity, to multiculturalism,” Alberta’s environment minister said. “To a pluralistic society in which matters of faith are everyone’s right.”