UBC students and staff held a vigil yesterday for victims of Sunday's Quebec Mosque shooting. A few dozen people showed up to demonstrate their support.
Six people were killed in the midst of prayer when a lone assailant stormed into the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City, located in the Sainte-Foy neighbourhood of the provincial capital. The shooting was condemned as a terrorist attack by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Communities across the country have shown their solidarity with Quebec City through vigils and memorial services.
Professor Anne Murphy of the Asian Studies department played a large role in organizing the vigil on campus.
“[We organized the vigil] in response to grief and harm of what happened in Quebec but also knowing its connections to larger things happening in our world today,” said Murphy.
Students, professors and visitors spoke or recited prayers and songs to honour those who perished in the attack. Many also spoke about the need to recognize and fix problems in Canada in order to avoid this kind of tragedy.
“We can’t close our eyes, we can’t say ‘Canada is different,’ we can’t be complacent,” said Murphy. “We have to fight if we do not want the same things in the United States to happen in Canada. We need to make sure, and that means activism, that means coming together and standing up to that kind of hate and those kinds of policies.”
Donald Trump's press secretary, Sean Spicer, mentioned the attack in Quebec in his defence of recent travel bans issued by the president.
The recent executive orders signed by the new president have been protested widely, and worry Murphy and others at the vigil.
Another vigil, organized by UBC student Abubakar Khan, is scheduled for this Saturday evening. Khan attended and spoke at yesterday’s event.
“The world we live in is a very small place. The internet does not have borders so the hate that is spooning across the world is easy to obtain,” said Khan.
Saturday’s vigil is scheduled for 6:30-9 p.m. and will take place at Jack Poole Plaza in downtown Vancouver.