Ceremony planned to honour memory of those killed in 2017 Quebec City mosque attack

  • Canadian Press

QUEBEC — A ceremony commemorating victims of the deadly 2017 attack on a Quebec City mosque is scheduled to take place Monday evening.

Six Muslim men were killed and five others were seriously injured when a gunman burst into the Quebec City Islamic Cultural Centre shortly after evening prayers on Jan. 29, 2017.

Ibrahima Barry, Mamadou Tanou Barry, Khaled Belkacemi, Abdelkrim Hassane, Azzedine Soufiane, and Aboubaker Thabti died that night.

Organizers say the seventh anniversary event is intended to honour the memory of the dead and show support for their families, as well as for survivors of the attack.

The hour−long ceremony will take place at the centre and will be streamed online beginning at 6 p.m.

The solemn event follows a series of open houses at the mosque aimed at building connections with the broader community in Quebec City.

In 2021, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared Jan. 29 National Day of Remembrance of the Quebec City Mosque Attack and Action against Islamophobia.

On Monday, Trudeau paid tribute to the six fallen men in a statement while warning against a rise in hate speech, discrimination and Islamophobia in recent months.

“They were sons, brothers, fathers, and friends — proud Muslims, Quebecers, and Canadians. But they were targeted simply because they were Muslim," Trudeau said in a statement.

"We pay tribute to the victims we lost to this heinous act of hate. We also stand in solidarity with our Muslim friends and neighbours and reaffirm our commitment to combating Islamophobia."

Quebec Premier François Legault marked the anniversary in a Facebook post.

"Even years later, our nation remains shaken by this tragedy. On this Jan. 29, I think of the victims and their families," Legault wrote. "Beyond our differences, we are all Quebecers. We have a duty to ensure that these hateful acts never happen again."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 29, 2024.

The Canadian Press