A Quebec flag with the word “Open” written on it is shown in remembrance of six victims of a shooting at mosque during a vigil in Quebec City on January 30, 2017. Events are being held Wednesday in Quebec City to mark the third anniversary of the deadly mosque shooting that claimed six lives. Organizers from the citizens group “We remember January 29” said the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre where the killings occurred will open its doors to the community this afternoon, with a dinner and speeches later at an area church. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

A Quebec flag with the word “Open” written on it is shown in remembrance of six victims of a shooting at mosque during a vigil in Quebec City on January 30, 2017. Events are being held Wednesday in Quebec City to mark the third anniversary of the deadly mosque shooting that claimed six lives. Organizers from the citizens group “We remember January 29” said the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre where the killings occurred will open its doors to the community this afternoon, with a dinner and speeches later at an area church. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Solemn events to mark third anniversary of deadly Quebec City mosque shooting

Alexandre Bissonnette pleaded guilty to the killings and was sentenced to life in prison without parole for 40 years

Events are being held Wednesday in Quebec City to mark the third anniversary of the deadly mosque shooting that claimed six lives.

Organizers from the citizens group “We remember January 29” said the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre where the killings occurred will open its doors to the community this afternoon, with a dinner and speeches later at an area church.

The group organizing the events is urging Quebec City residents to participate in large numbers — calling the grim occasion a chance to come together and affirm a desire to build an open and inclusive community.

The mosque shooting left six men dead: Mamadou Tanou Barry, 42, Abdelkrim Hassane, 41, Khaled Belkacemi, 60, Aboubaker Thabti, 44, Azzeddine Soufiane, 57, and Ibrahima Barry, 39.

They left behind their wives and 17 children between them, while several others were injured when the gunman opened fire inside the mosque in the provincial capital’s Ste-Foy district.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged the anniversary by calling on Canadians to honour the memory of the victims by fighting Islamophobia and other forms of hatred and discrimination.

“Today, we mourn those who were senselessly killed, and suffered at the hands of ignorance, Islamophobia, and racism,” Trudeau said in a statement. “We share the pain of their children, spouses, friends, and neighbours, who were robbed of their loved ones far too soon. Our thoughts are also with those injured, whose lives forever changed after this brutal and inhumane attack.”

Boufeldja Benabdallah, president of the mosque, said in a recent interview the local Muslim community has seen many “highs and lows” in the three years since the shooting, but overall things have improved.

He noted that people have resumed their lives and returned to work, finding some serenity.

But while the community has moved forward with announcements like the creation of the region’s first Islamic cemetery and a million-dollar renovation to enlarge and secure the mosque, he said the province’s controversial secularism law casts a cloud.

The law, known as Bill 21, bans some civil servants from wearing religious symbols at work — something Benabdallah said targets Muslims in particular.

“Once again, we feel in the minority and targeted, especially the Muslim woman who finds herself penalized,” Benabdallah said, calling the legislation a significant setback.

Premier Francois Legault, whose government introduced Bill 21, and Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume are scheduled to attend the community dinner.

Last year, the commemoration was held at Universite Laval, while in 2018, there were four days of activities culminating in an outdoor gathering attended by hundreds, including leaders of all federal and provincial parties.

Alexandre Bissonnette pleaded guilty to the killings and last year was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole for 40 years — a sentence that was the subject of appeals by both the Crown and defence during a hearing at the Quebec Court of Appeal Monday.

READ MORE: Quebec Court of Appeal to hear Alexandre Bissonnette appeals

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Quebec

Just Posted

Alberta’a chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Thursday that there are more than 328,000 vaccine appointments booked over the next seven days. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta surpasses 2 million doses administered of COVID-19 vaccine

Red Deer down to 835 active cases of COVID-19

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives at the 2021 budget in Edmonton, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.
‘We did not unite around blind loyalty to one man’:Kenney faces internal call to quit

Senior backbench member Todd Loewen, in a letter posted on Facebook, called on Kenney to resign

Alberta continues to wrestle with high COVID-19 case numbers. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer up to 858 active cases of COVID-19

Province reports additional 1,799 cases of the virus

Town of Sylvan Lake. File Photo
Sylvan Lake residents affected by Boil Water Advisory to be compensated

Sylvan Lake Town Council says the roughly 3,700 residents affected last month will be compensated

Marc Kielburger, screen left, and Craig Kielburger, screen right, appear as witnesses via video conference during a House of Commons finance committee in the Wellington Building in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. The committee is looking into Government Spending, WE Charity and the Canada Student Service Grant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau didn’t violate conflict rules over WE Charity, watchdog says

Federal ethics commissioner Mario Dion found that former finance minister Bill Morneau did violate the rules

Chris Scott, owner of The Whistle Stop Cafe, was put in handcuffs after an anti-restriction protest Saturday in the parking lot of the business. (Screenshot via The Whistle Stop Facebook page)
Alberta RCMP investigating possible threat to police after Mirror rally

Online images show RCMP members, vehicles in crosshairs of a rifle

An Israeli attack helicopter launches flares as he flies over the Israeli Gaza border, southern Israel, Thursday, May 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Singh calls for halt on Canadian arms sales to Israel as violence escalates in region

Government data shows Canada sent $13.7 million in military goods and technology to Israel in 2019

New homes are built in a housing construction development in the west-end of Ottawa on Thursday, May 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Budget’s foreign-homebuyers tax could bring in $509 million over 4 years, PBO says

Liberals are proposing a one per cent tax on vacant homes owned by foreign non-residents

A Canadian flag patch is shown on a soldier’s shoulder in Trenton, Ont., on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. The Canadian Forces says it has charged one of its members in the death of an army reservist from British Columbia during a training exercise at a military base in Alberta last year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Lars Hagberg
Canadian Forces member charged in death of army reservist during training exercise

Cpl. Lars Callsen has been charged with one count of negligence

A youth plays basketball in an otherwise quiet court in Toronto on Saturday April 17, 2021. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association is urging the federal and provincial governments to fight COVID-19 pandemic by focusing on proven public health policy interventions including paid sick leave, and education rather than punitive enforcement measures. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Provinces issued more COVID-19 tickets during 2nd wave: CCLA report

‘A pandemic is a public health, not a public order, crisis,’ reads the report

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. Trudeau is rejecting accusations from Alberta’s justice minister that his federal government is part of a trio rooting for that province’s health system to collapse due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Alberta justice minister sorry for saying feds, others rooting for COVID disaster

Earlier Tuesday, prior to Madu’s apology, Trudeau rejected the accusations

In this Monday, March 15, 2021 file photo a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is pictured in a pharmacy in Boulogne Billancourt, outside Paris. Questions remained Wednesday about the future of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in Canada, as Manitoba limited use of the shot and Ontario announced it planned to save an incoming shipment to use as second doses. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Christophe Ena, File
Questions remain about the future of the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot in Canada

More than two million Canadians have received AstraZeneca and 17 have been confirmed to have VITT

Most Read