The Algonquin community was quick to react to the shooting at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre late last month, by holding a vigil in the student commons the following day of the attack.
Students and faculty filled the room to express condolences and show solidarity.
The vigil brought together speakers and leaders of different religions and backgrounds to convey their sympathy.
Kitigan Zibi First Nation Elder, Barbara Hill was the first to speak at the podium.
“Every one of us is responsible to be there and stand up against hate,” she said.
The vigil, organized by President Cheryl Jensen, also brought out Imam Zijad Delic of the South Nepean Muslim Community Mosque to offer his thoughts, saying, “As a Muslim and spiritual being, when I look through the lens of my spirituality I see everybody as equal. I have to or I am not grounded in my faith.”
The Imam then referenced a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
The event also brought out Rabbi Reuven Bulka, a spiritual leader in the Ottawa area since 1967 and Rev. Canon John Wilker-Blakley, Inter Faith officer for the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa. They too extended their thoughts and prayers with the victims, their families and the Canadian people.
“My message is to send my condolences to the Muslim community, not only in Quebec or Canada, but all over the world.” expressed Bulka. “An attack on one religion is an attack on all religions,”.
“Our highest calling is to care for each other,” added Wilker-Blakley.
Also in attendance at the vigil was MP Anita Vandenbeld, on behalf of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“It is the values of freedom of religion, the values of celebrating diversity, the values of welcoming newcomers, the values of equality and bringing people together and the values of peace, love and respect. That is who we are as Canadians,” she said.
Vandenbeld was referring to the 90-day ban on Muslims from entering the United States who carry a dual passport from seven specific countries in the Middle East and Africa including Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen.
Nepean-Carleton MPP Lisa MacLeod also had a few words to say of the tragic event.
“If I could go to my church and pray and not have to worry about walking into that sanctuary and being harmed, or worse, killed, why should a Muslim or Jew in Canada feel threatened?
“Regardless of where you come from in the world, as long as you live in this city of Ottawa you are one of us and if you live in this country you are a Canadian.”