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Muslim group asks for day of remembrance on 1st anniversary of Quebec mosque shooting

Azzedine Najd and his wife Fadwa Achmaoui look at the memorial near the site of a fatal shooting at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre in Quebec City on January 31, 2017.
Azzedine Najd and his wife Fadwa Achmaoui look at the memorial near the site of a fatal shooting at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre in Quebec City on January 31, 2017. Reuters/Mathieu Belanger

One of Canada’s most prominent Muslim groups is asking Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to designate the anniversary of the 2017 Quebec City mosque shooting as an official day of remembrance.

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The National Council of Canadian Muslims wants Trudeau to endorse Jan. 29 as a national day of remembrance and action on Islamophobia.

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In a letter to the prime minister released Friday, executive director Ihsaan Gardee says such a designation would help enhance public education about hate, bigotry and Islamophobia.

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Last January, six Muslim men were shot and killed and 19 others were wounded in an attack on the mosque during prayers.

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Alexandre Bissonnette of Quebec City is to stand trial in March on six charges each of first-degree murder and attempted murder.

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Gardee said Canadian Muslim communities are still feeling the aftershocks of the attack.

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“We must not allow voices of hate, even ones that initially appear to be on the margins, to permeate our public discourse and damage our social fabric,” he wrote.

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He said the call for a day of remembrance is supported by dozens of other Canadian Muslim groups and community partners.

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Gardee pointed out elected leaders like Trudeau need to work to ensure that such a tragedy is not repeated.

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