Islamic Cultural Centre calls on authorities to crack down on hateful acts that ‘cannot leave us indifferent’


The frightful story of an armed gunman entering a house of worship and opening fire is all too familiar for members of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City, where the deadly mosque shooting took place nearly two years ago.

“Today we understand very well the pain that Jewish families feel and we are wholeheartedly with them,” the CCIQ’s board of directors wrote in an open letter Sunday — one day after the synagogue shooting in the United States left 11 dead and six injured.

Boufeldja Benabdallah, co-founder of Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City, offered his condolences to the Jewish community in the wake of the shooting in Pittsburgh. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)

The letter offers the CCIQ’s “heartfelt condolences” to the families affected by the deadly rampage.

Saturday’s alleged gunman, who reportedly has a history of expressing anti-Semitic beliefs online, has been charged with 29 federal crimes, including hate crimes, for opening fire during a Sabbath service at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.

On Jan. 29, 2017, the Quebec City shooter killed six and injured 19. In its letter, the CCIQ draws a parallel between its own experience and that of the synagogue as people were once again killed while praying in a “sacred and untouchable place.”

The CCIQ calls on authorities to crack down on such hateful acts that “cannot leave us indifferent.”

Brothers in humanity’

Boufeldja Benabdallah, co-founder of the Quebec City mosque, picked up the phone to convey his condolences to the local Jewish community as soon as he heard about Saturday’s tragedy.