To Comment on this article Click Here
People began to gather ...
... and candles were lit
In a truly remarkable event, more than 250 people gathered in sub-zero temperatures to stand in solidarity Friday night with Kincardine’s Muslim community at a candlelight vigil outside the Kincardine Islamic Centre.
Just before the event began at 6 pm, scores of people were lined up down the street to sign a book of condolence for those mourning the deaths of six Muslim men killed in the attack on a mosque in Quebec City last Sunday.
Book of Condolence
The Islamic Centre serves as a gathering place and mosque for Kincardine’s small Muslim community. Quite by coincidence, my campaign office during the 2015 election was co-located in the same building as the Islamic Centre, right across the street from the Tim Horton’s in downtown Kincardine, so we got to know each other quite well.
After last weekend’s tragedy, I got in touch with a friend at the mosque, Ayman Faddah, and got involved with their plans to hold a vigil on Friday, the same day that funerals were being held in Quebec City for some of the victims.
With little time to organize, we posted a simple notice to Facebook, borrowed the candles we use in the Christmas Eve service at the Presbyterian church in Glammis, and then to our amazement, watched as dozens and dozens of people arrived, bundled up against the bitter cold. People drove from as far away as Bayfield, Goderich and Port Elgin to show their support for their Muslim neighbours.
Ayman Faddah welcomed everyone and said how overwhelmed he and other members of the community have been by the outpouring of support. The events in Quebec City had left them heavy hearted and fearful, for some even worried about the wellbeing of their children. How remarkable then to see so many people show up for tonight’s vigil.
Rev. Kathy Fraser, from Knox Presbyterian Church, spoke on behalf of the community, a community that raised tens of thousands of dollars as part of a campaign to sponsor refugees in the wake of the Syrian crisis.
Rev. Kathy Fraser
“It is a tremendous community that we live in here in Kincardine, brothers and sisters are standing together tonight as a demonstration of the love we have for one another and the shared sorrow and support and encouragement that we want to share with one another as well," she said.
Rev. Fraser went on to quote from the 4th century theologian St.
Augustine: "What does love look like?
Asif Raza, a local member of the Muslim community in Kincardine, read from a stirring poem that he wrote in the wake of the Quebec shootings. “Let us unite in future that we share; Glorious and free, full of compassion and care.
If they say
hate begets fear;
Mamadou Tanou Barry, 42 ...
Abdelkrim Hassane, 41 ...
Khaled Belkacemi, 60 ...
Aboubaker Thabti, 44 ...
Ibrahima Barry, 39 ...
Then Ayman invited everyone in the crowd to turn to those next to them and exchange the Muslim message of peace, in Arabic ... As Salaam Alaikum.
And to end, he invited all those gathered to sing
If you would like to read related or unrelated articles, enter a key word or phrase in the search engine box below to search the Canadian Community News online database
books, sports, movies ...
Monday, February 06, 2017