1st Session, 42nd Parliament,
Volume 150, Issue 91

Wednesday, February 1, 2017
The Honourable George J. Furey, Speaker

Le Centre culturel islamique de Québec—Victims of Tragedy

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, I rise today in deep sadness as I, along with the rest of our country, mourn the loss of six Canadians and many others who were injured in a deadly act of terror targeted at the Muslim community in Quebec. These are the Canadians who died that day: Khaled Belkacemi, 60 years old, survived by three children; Azzedine Soufiane, 57 years old, survived by three children; Aboubaker Thabti, 44 years old, survived by two children; Abdelkrim Hassane, 41 years old, survived by three children; Tanou Barry, 42 years old; Ibrahima Barry, 39 years old, survived by four children.

I would like to express my deepest condolences to their families.

Honourable senators, when Muslims go to the mosque to pray, they place their head on the ground to humble themselves before God. They submit themselves by taking the most vulnerable and peaceful position imaginable. It was in that vulnerable state that this terrorist shot at our fellow Canadians.

Honourable senators, last year this same mosque was the victim of hate crime. A pig’s head was left at the doors of the mosque. Yesterday the president of the mosque said, “They left us a pig’s head. We were told that it was an isolated act, but today we have deaths.”

Honourable senators, Islamophobia, xenophobia, hateful rhetoric and policy, no matter where it comes from, cannot go unchecked. Today we see the consequences.

My heart is breaking for the victims’ families and the people of Quebec City. I mourn with them, and I mourn with every other Canadian who is feeling this loss and the effects of Islamophobia.

I pledge to all those Canadians that I will meet hatred with love. I will call out hateful and hurtful targeted policies and rhetoric, and I will stand up for the most vulnerable in our society.

I ask that my honourable colleagues and Canadians around the country stand up as well. It is the only acceptable way to honour these innocent Canadians who were lost in this act of terror.

Honourable senators, I would like to conclude by reading a passage from the Quran that fits this tragedy:

O mankind, We have created you from a male and a female; and We have made you into tribes and sub-tribes that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable among you, in the sight of Allah, is he who is the most righteous among you. Surely, Allah is All-knowing, All-Aware.

Thank you. May their souls rest in peace.