UPDATE: Jan. 31, 2017
In response to Sunday’s attack on a Quebec City Mosque the Kelowna Islamic Centre will be holding an evening vigil tonight (Tuesday).
The vigil will take place at 6:30 p.m. at the mosque located at 1120 – Highway 33.
Board member Hamid Butt says the vigil is open to the entire community regardless of their faith.
“We expect to demonstrate solidarity and unity as community at large and stand together to fight this evil that threatens our (Canadian) core values,” said Butt.
A donation box will be available and collection will be extended to the victims’ families.
Since news of the attack broke an outpouring of community support has been seen at the mosque where flowers, candles and well-wishes have been left on an outside bench.
Original: Jan. 30, 2017
Hamid Butt, a board member of the Kelowna Islamic Centre, can’t believe Sunday night’s terrorist attack happened on Canadian soil.
“Not here at our home. We take great pride in being Canadian and Canada is one of the best places in the world,” said Butt. “Our generosity, openness and diversity, all of those things — means it should not happen here.”
Calling the incident, at the Quebec City Mosque, heinous and sad – Butt says he is left shaking his head.
“What kind of sick mind do these people have, it just baffles the mind what kind of mentality do these people have,” he said.
The Islamic Centre has already received many messages of condolences and well wishes from other community members and churches. Butt says he will share this with the congregation so everyone understands they are being supported and that this is not about one religion, it is about the community pulling together.
“We will not let this get us down,” said Butt. “We will pray for our community, we will pray for the victims and the family members.”
While the terrorist attack happened on the other side of the country, Butt says the local Islamic community is being vigilant.
“We are telling the congregation if they see something suspicious they tell the police or someone as promptly as possible,” said Butt.
“We don’t want to let our guards down and we pray that we will not experience anything like that, but at the same time we don’t want people to get excited. We don’t need to bring more excitement than what’s already out there, we don’t want people to be more worried than they need to be.”
The Kelowna Islamic Centre will be working with the The BC Muslim Association to see if they can help the victims and their families of the Quebec City Mosque attack in any financial way.