Canadian Muslim group wants day of remembrance


In a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released Friday, the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) has asked that Jan. 29 be designated an official day of remembrance for six Muslims slain at a Quebec City mosque.

The victims were shot and killed while 19 others were wounded on the same day in the attack last January.

Accused killer Alexandre Bissonnette of Quebec City will stand trial in March. He faces six counts of first-degree murder and six of attempted murder.

The letter, signed by NCCM executive director Ihsaan Gardee, points out that the day of remembrance would serve to better educate the public about hate. It would also include a call to action against Islamophobia.

"One year on, Canadian Muslim communities are still reeling from the devastating terrorist attack that claimed the lives of six Muslim men worshipping in their mosque-fathers, husbands and sons-and gravely injured many others," Gardee in the letter sent to Anadolu Agency. "For the first time in Canadian history, a place of worship was targeted by a horrific act of violence solely because the victims were Muslims."

It goes on to say Trudeau has stated that in "these difficult times" Canadians must stand together to protect the diverse and open nature of Canadian society.

"To that end, we call on your government to designate, by order-in-council or by proclamation, January 29th as a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia, on or before the first anniversary," the letter said. "This call is supported by a host of other Canadian Muslim organizations and community partners.

"Such a designation will enable Canadians to collectively remember the victims of the attack and to enhance public education about the perils of hate, bigotry and Islamophobia."

The idea of a day of remembrance is not new. Less than two weeks after the mosque shooting, the NCCM urged supporters and other Canadians to write their local members of parliament and urge that Jan. 29 be designated to serve as remembrance for the victims, as well as a call for action against Islamophobia.

There has not yet been an official response from the government to the letter.

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