Volume 12 Week 5

Tuesday, Jan. 21


Posted Jan. 10

Posted Jan. 9

Posted Jan. 7


Orléans Ward
Matt Luloff

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney





(Posted 8 a.m., Feb. 16)
Quebec City mosque attack brings local youth together

By Fred Sherwin
The Orléans Star

Masjid Bilal youth member Ameena Ally (left) stands in front of a display containing cards and letters writen by students at St. Peter High School, including Shealyn Foley (right). Fred Sherwin/Photo

It doesn’t take much to show you care about somebody else. Sometimes a smile, a wave, a hug, even a handshake can make a huge difference if you are attempting to raise someone’s spirits and help them through a difficult time in their life.

A group of Grade 10 students at St. Peter Catholic High School did their best to raise the morale of the Muslim congregation at the Masjid Bilal mosque on Innes Road.

The considerate and caring teenagers were quick to react upon hearing the news of the recent mass shootings at a Quebec City mosque which resulted in the death of six people and left several more seriously injured.

“Mr. (Scott) Searle and I approached the local mosque on Innes Road to see how we could get involved and help out during their time of suffering and grief,” explained Linda Roe, who teaches a Leadership Class at the Fallingbrook area high school.

In their next class, Roe and her students decided to create and send a collection of cards to the mosque expressing their support for the local Muslim community and let them know that the St. Peter’s population cared about them in their time of sorrow and pain.

“Our goal was to show the mosque that we were offended by the attack, stood in solidarity with them and stand together forever as human beings,” Searle stated.

The cards were delivered via a short five minute drive to the mosque, but the gesture went a long way in raising the spirits of the worshipers at the Masjid.
Imam Mohammed Badat was the first one to read the cards and was overwhelmed with the heartwarming gesture directed towards his fellow Muslims.

“It was very emotional to receive and read the cards. We really appreciate the outpouring of support from the students at St. Peter,” said Badat who has been serving the Orléans Muslim community since 2000.

“The event in Quebec City was extremely sad; it truly affects everyone but the high school’s kind gesture reinforces my belief that people are good and we (Masjid Bilal) will continue to look at the positive side of things.”

Faraz Abbasi is in charge of a weekly Quran class at the mosque in which he shares the religious text of Islam.

Abbasi was at the Masjid when Imam Badat read out the cards of support to the congregation.

“I could see that our worshippers were touched and appreciated the message that the young students were attempting to send. My immediate thoughts were that we had to repay their kindness and reach out to them,” said Abbasi.

The Innes Road mosque responded with cards of their own along with a plaque to show their appreciation.

A week after the tragic event in Quebec City, Ameena Ally planed on going to her Qu’ran class like she does every Sunday morning.

Saddened with a heavy heart, Ally heard about the cards which brightened her day almost instantly.

“I heard that the St. Pete’s students reached out to us. It was so warming and thoughtful to read their kind words. I’m very grateful for their support,” said the University of Ottawa psychology student.

Hyah Alnehmi attends St. Peter and is Muslim. She wanted to be a part of the healing process and took an active role in the card exchange.

“I was very saddened by the shootings in Quebec City. A mosque is a very sacred place to go and pray. To have someone walk in and start shooting
people is pretty scary,” said Alnehim.

“I am Muslim but I attend a Catholic High School which shows you that we have to learn from each other and make sure to establish strong connections.”

For more news/information about the Islamic Society of Cumberland (Masjid Bilal) or to arrange a mosque visit www.masjidbilal.org.

Members of the Qu'ran class at the Masjid Bilal in Orléans meet students from St. Peter High School for the first time. The two groups have exchanged letters and cards in the aftermath of the Quebec City mosque shooting. Fred Sherwin/Photo

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


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