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UPDATE: Thousands march in Charlottetown to show solidarity following Quebec mosque attack

The Guardian 

Published on February 4, 2017

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Some held signs at the Charlottetown march, which was also part of the nationawide day of action against Islamophobia and White Supremacy.

©MITCH MACDONALD/TC MEDIA

More than 2,000 Islanders showed their support of the Muslim community during a massive silent march in Charlottetown on Saturday.

The group, which included Muslim and non-Muslim participants, held the march following last Sunday’s shooting at a Quebec mosque that saw six killed.

The solidarity march also included some prayers, speeches and meditative silences outside of province house.

Najam Chisti, president of the Muslim Society of P.E.I., said it was heartening to see the massive crowd and also acknowledged the inclusiveness and solidarity shown by the local community since the attack.

Chisti said the local mosque was grateful to receive the numerous sympathy cards, messages, flowers and even baked goods.

“It’s the sign of a caring community,” said Chisti, who extended sympathies to the families of victims. “Despite the trials we face in somewhat hostile times, the general Islamophobia we face has made our faith stronger.”

UPEI student Hammad Ahmed said Muslim students at the university were shocked and saddened by news of the shooting.

However, he also expressed gratitude for support from the community and shared a Muhammad Ali quote with the crowd.

“This quote inspired me a lot. “I am an ordinary man who worked hard to develop the talent I was given. I believed in myself, and I believe in the goodness of others,” said Ahmed. “That is you folks. I thank you for all coming out here.”

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A woman holds a sign reading “solidarity with muslims” during a silent march in Charlottetown that was held in solidarity and support after the mosque attack in Quebec earlier this week.

©MITCH MACDONALD/TC MEDIA

UPDATE: Thousands march in Charlottetown to show solidarity following Quebec mosque attack

Omair Imiaz spoke on behalf of the National Council of Canadian Muslims outside of province house following a Charlottetown march that showed solidarity with the Muslim community.

The march, which saw participants walk silently up Queen Street, was held in conjunction with several others across the country as part of the nationwide Day of Action against Islamophobia and White Supremacy.

The march was also politically charged, with speakers blasting U.S. President Donald Trump’s immigration policies and also calling for immigration reform within Canada.

Omair Imiaz, who spoke on behalf of the National Council of Canadian Muslims, said the group was deeply concerned about rising Islamophobia within Canada.

“We fear (Trump’s) policy will also aggravate this phenomenon,” said Imiaz. “This is a key moment for Canadians of all backgrounds to stand together in opposition of such discriminatory policies and say loudly and clearly that Canada will remain an open society that celebrates its diversity.”

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More than 2,000 people marched up Queen Street in Charlottetown as part of a silent march on Saturday following last Sunday’s shooting at a Quebec mosque.

©MITCH MACDONALD/TC MEDIA

Organizer Josie Baker, of the Cooper Institute, said the tragedy shows a growing danger within Canada.

“This was an unspeakable act carried out by an individual full of hate, it is clear it did not happen in a vacuum the hatred and ugliness has been growing and spreading and gaining power in Canada as well as the United States,” said Baker. “Racist and Islamophobic violence is happening more and more and we are here to turn the tide for peace. Today we are joining in solidarity with people across Canada.”

Baker said the movement demands the Canadian government actively condemn Trump’s executive order and reform its own immigration policies.

“All provinces must become sanctuaries that guarantee access to services and refuse collaboration with Canadian and American border agents,” said Baker. “Canada must rescind all federal legislation that attacks racialized black and brown Muslims and refugees including the zero tolerance for barbaric cultural practices act as well as anti-terror legislation.”

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The crowd followed the Charlottetown march with speeches and prayers outside of province house.

©MITCH MACDONALD/TC MEDIA