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(Posted 9:30 p.m., Feb. 2)
Local mosque grateful for community's condolences, support

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Imman Badat and Tausif Patel stand behind sone of the flowers that have dropped off at the Masjid Bilal in the aftermath of the Quenec City mosque shooting on Sunday. Fred Sherwin/Photo

In the aftermath of the Quebec City mosque mass shooting, dozens of local residents have spontaneously expressed their condolences and support for the area's Muslim population through letters, cards and e-mails.

The Masjid Bilal on Innes Road received over 30 e-mails in the 48 hours following Sunday's shooting. They's also received a dozen, or so, hand-written cards and letters, and a half dozen bouquets of flowers, some of which where left overnight.

"Every day people have been dropping off cards, expressing their love and compassion. It's been very touching," says Imman Badat. "We can not undo what happened. It's a terrible tragedy. But the response from people, many of whom are our neighbours, has been tremendously heartening.

Here is just one of the many e-mails the mosque has received...

"Hello. You don't know me, I live in Orleans.  I am simply a neighbor.  I am simply another person.  I wish to let you know, due to the tragic events of Sunday evening, that I am united with you.  I give you my love and support and I stand with you.  You are welcome here in my community.  I stand with you as my muslim friends and neighbors.  May you safely pray and not pray for safety.  Do not be discouraged.  We are with you."

"Most of the e-mailes express shock at what happened and that it happened in Canada which is the most tolerant country in the world. And they also say that they stand with the Muslim community in these times," says the Imman.

Tausif Patel is the president of the Islamic Society of Cumberland. He too has been struck by the heartfielt display from their neighbours.

"For someone to take the time to personal come by and drop off a card or flowers is very gratifying," says Patel. "It's nice to see that our neighbours are standing by us during this difficult time. It's something you don't expect, but when it happens it makes you very appreciative to live here in Orléans."

Patel words are driven home by this second e-mail.

"Please accept my most sincere condolences for the loss of your brothers in Quebec. You are our brothers and sisters, you are members of our community and what happens to one of you, happens to all of us. I am not Muslim but I want you to know that my heart breaks for you, all of you. I pray this never ever happens again."

Members of the public can send there messages of support and condolences to info@masjidbilal.org.

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

 

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Posted Jan. 12



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