Hundreds gather in Kelowna to honour Quebec City shooting victims

Hundreds showed their support for Quebec City mosque shooting victims at a vigil held at the Kelowna Islamic Centre, Tuesday night, Jan. 31, 2017.

KELOWNA - Despite the cold, hundreds of people gathered together last night to show support for the Islamic community.

Around 400 people attended the vigil at Kelowna’s Islamic Centre, Jan. 31, held for the victims of Sunday night’s mosque shooting in Québec City.

“I just want to support people that have a different religious view than my own... it’s a human right to have freedom of spirituality,” community member Pat Munro said.

Kelowna resident Celia Brown-Clayton, who attended the vigil with her husband and two children, said it’s important to stand up for what is right.

“This is Canada and any hate crime against any group of people shouldn’t be stood for. People can’t stand by and be apathetic about it," she said.

Brown-Clayton said she brought her children because she wants them to know how fortunate they are.

“There are kids out there that just lost their dad, lost their grandparent, lost their uncles and only because of their religion and that’s horrible,” she said. “My kids are really lucky because if we were any different people - if we happened to be Muslim - it could’ve been their dad and that’s a scary thought.”

Islamic Centre board member Hamid Butt was humbled by the overwhelming support.

“It was unbelievable,” Butt said. “It made me so proud to be a part of this community and to be Canadian.”

Syrian refugee Mohammad Alshahoud also attended the vigil. He has been attending the Islamic Mosque since he arrived in Canada over a year and a half ago.

“I came here tonight just to see all my friends, all our community, standing up together against terrorism,” he said. “I wanted to cry when I saw all the religions form our community standing together, I feel very happy and very safe.”

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