Hundreds of University of Toronto and Ryerson University students gathered together for a vigil at King’s College Circle last Monday night, to mourn the six lives that were lost to a shooting in a Quebec City mosque.
With leaders from the Muslim, Jewish, and Christian communities present at the vigil, there was a reading from the Quran, as well as statements of support from the attending rabbi and reverend.
Dalia Hashim, the president of the Muslim Students’ Association at U of T who took part in the organization of the vigil, told The Medium, “We were particularly pleased to see students from across downtown campuses attend, as well as representatives from all levels of government and university administration.”
In an interview with The Medium on Tuesday, the premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, stated that she visited a mosque in Toronto on January 30. She also commented on the current incidents happening around the world.
“It’s an important conversation that we have right now because of what’s going on in the world. The shootings in Quebec make it very clear that even though we have a very strong pluralistic society in Canada and Ontario, we can’t be complacent,” said premier Wynne.
“We have to stand together. We have to continue to put our values out to the world, values of inclusion and acceptance; not just tolerance, but acceptance is even more important now than it was a year ago.”
U of T’s president Meric Gertler also released a statement on January 30 on the Office of the President website, stating their condolences to the lives lost in Quebec. The statement added that the U of T flags would fly at half-mast for a two-day morning period.
“The University of Toronto community has reacted with shock and sorrow at news of the appalling shooting at a mosque in Québec City. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the families and friends of those killed or injured,” read the statement, extending its support to the Muslim communities across Canada.
Others who showed up at the two-hour long vigil included Toronto mayor, John Tory; the federal finance minister, Bill Morneau; MP for Mississauga Erin Mills, Iqra Khalid; and MP for Mississauga Centre, Omar Alghabra.