January 28, 2018 6:57 pm

Montrealers gather to mark anniversary of Quebec City mosque shooting

A woman wears a pin commemorating the first anniversary of the Quebec City mosque shooting, during an event in Montreal, Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018.

Phil Carpenter/Global News
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Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante attended an event in Montreal, Sunday, to commemorate the first anniversary of the fatal shooting at a Quebec City mosque.

A year ago on Monday, a gunman opened fire inside the Quebec City Islamic Cultural Centre during evening prayers, killing six men and wounding many others.

READ MORE: ‘Muslim community raises money for paralyzed mosque shooting victim

Alexandre Bissonnette, 27, has been charged with the shootings.

WATCH BELOW: Deadly shooting in Quebec City


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About 200 people attended the event at Place de la Gare-Jean-Talon  in Parc-Extension, organized by the Canadian Muslim Forum.

Many carried placards calling for peace and unity, and wore commemorative pins on which were printed “Je me souviens. Massacre mosquée de Québec 29 Janvier 2017.”

A few fought back tears as the names of the six men were read aloud.

READ MORE: Emotional gathering held at Quebec City mosque to mark anniversary of massacre

Several speakers, including members of the city’s Muslim communities and politicians, spoke of the need to address hate and division.

“Till today, we have politicians saying, ‘there’s no Islamophobia in the country’ ” said Samer Majzoub, president of the Canadian Muslim Forum during his speech, as he stood beneath a banner on which were printed pictures of the men who were killed.

“We’re having lives lost, and you’re telling me there’s no Islamophobia? What do you call it?”

READ MORE: Quebec City mosque shooting anniversary leads to discussion about reconciliation

Before leaving, Plante spoke to reporters addressing the issue of Islamophobia.

“Islamophobia is a reality. It happens and so we need to acknowledge it, and then from the city perspective we need to act on it concretely by making sure that Montreal is a safe space.”

There were other events across the city on Sunday and several are planned for Monday, including at Montreal city hall between 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

In Quebec City, the events, which began Friday, included prayer services, a seminar and a spiritual rally bringing together members of the Muslim, Jewish and First Nations communities.

The commemoration will end Monday evening — the anniversary of the shooting — when people are invited to bring flowers and candles to a vigil, which will take place outdoors close to the mosque.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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