Religious community members come together to launch Muslim Awareness Week
It has been nearly two years since six Muslim worshippers were killed and 19 others injured when a lone gunman opened fire in a Quebec mosque.
Ahead of the tragedy’s anniversary, Montrealers from many faiths which include Muslim, Jewish and Christian beliefs, have come together to launch the first edition of Muslim Awareness Week.
Organizers of the weeklong campaign, which runs from Jan. 25 to the 31, hope to honour the victims of the Centre Culturel Islamique Mosque shooting.
On a grander scale, organizers wish to create a dialogue between the community and members of the Muslim faith.
Ehab Lotayef of Muslim Awareness Week says community outreach is the best way to help people get to know his religion.
“People fear what they don’t know,” Lotayef said.
A series of community events will be held in synagogues, community centres and local universities.
Activities and events include mosque open houses and dinners which will be free to the public. Lotayef hopes those events will open a window into Montreal’s Muslim community.
“We want to talk to you, we want to be with you. We want you to know us,” Lotayef said.
“We want to express our achievements and our concerns as full citizens of Quebec and Canada.”
Muslims, Jews and Christians were joined by local politicians to promote cohesion and community between people of different backgrounds.
Rabbi Lisa Grushcow of Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom will host a dinner where members of her synagogue will break bread with members of the Muslim faith as a gesture of goodwill and solidarity on Friday.
“Some of us are inspired by religious values, by secular values, but all of us by the shared values of ‘vie ensemble.'”
A full list of Muslim Awareness Week events can be found on the group’s website.
Jan. 29 marks the two-year anniversary of the Quebec Mosque shooting.
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