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“No hate, no fear, everyone is welcome here”

by Savanna Craig January 31, 2017
“No hate, no fear, everyone is welcome here”

Vigil for Quebec City shooting victims unites more than 1,000 people

Abdelkrim Hassane, Mamadou Tanou Barry, Khaled Belkacemi, Aboubaker Thabti, Ibrahima Barry and Azzeddine Soufiane—those are the names of whom a crowd of more than 1,000 people gathered for outside of Parc metro station. It was an act of solidarity against terrorism, racism and discrimination.

Abdelkrim Hassane, Mamadou Tanou Barry, Khaled Belkacemi, Aboubaker Thabti, Ibrahima Barry and Azzeddine Soufiane—those are the names of whom a crowd of more than 1,000 people gathered for outside of Parc metro station. It was an act of solidarity against terrorism, racism and discrimination.

These six men fell victim to an act of terrorism committed at a mosque in Quebec City where many community members had gathered for an evening prayer on Sunday, Jan. 29, according to the National Post.

The demonstration, organized by the Association des Musulmans et des Arabes pour la Laïcité au Québec, began at 6 p.m. on Jan. 30.

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“Tout le monde déteste les racistes, tout le monde déteste les racistes,” the crowd chanted, over and over.

Claire Caillat, a participant at the vigil, said the large crowd validated the fact that many Canadians and those living in Canada are strong and determined to fight against racism. “This is proof that racism cannot divide us,” she said.

Mohammed Ahmed, another participant, said diversity is an important component of what makes Canada the nation it is today. “Without it, Canada would be tasteless,” he said.

Photo by Savanna Craig.

Photo by Savanna Craig.

“People from all over the world come here to contribute to society,” said Ahmed. If we separate Canada in terms of race and culture, Canada will no longer be Canada, he said.

“I’m not surprised that people support the Muslim community because a vast majority of Quebecers do not hold intolerant views towards these minority groups,” said Alex Tyrrell, leader of the Green Party of Quebec and Concordia student who attended the vigil. “It’s really a fringe element of society that holds these discriminatory views.”

Tyrrell criticized the media for providing a presence for and profiting off of intolerant, extremist, right-wing views. “They’re often writing columns against trans people, against women, against minority groups,” said Tyrrell, using the example of journalists Mathieu Bock-Côté and Richard Martineau. “They’re constantly fanning the flames of these issues.”

I think that that’s something that needs to change as quick as possible because we see what kind of impact these have,” said Tyrrell. “There has been many other hate crimes that have been committed in Quebec over the past few months and years.”

Photo by Savanna Craig.

Photo by Savanna Craig.

As some participants began to disperse around 7:30 p.m., many others gathered around a large red tapestry that read “Make Racists Afraid Again.”

“No hate, no fear, everyone is welcome here,” chanted thousands of participants in unison during the vigil.

Photo by Savanna Craig.

Photo by Savanna Craig.

Sentiments of peace and acceptance filled the air throughout the evening, voiced by a crowd made up of all different races, backgrounds and religions.

The crowd later dispersed from outside Parc metro and moved East along Jean Talon.

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