The doors to the Islamic Society of Kingston are always open – and today hundreds of people, of all faiths walked through them.
Sheharyar Shaikh: “This was a special time where we could get together. Perhaps remind ourselves that there’s a lot of good in our country, and that this does not represent the majority of the people.”
Kingston’s only mosque held an open-prayer session in honour of the shooting victims from Sainte-Foy, Quebec.
The session was open to anyone who wanted to attend – in an effort to strengthen relationships between Kingston’s Muslim community and members of other faiths.
James Brown: “I have friends from the Islamic Centre, and it’s important to have right relations. One love, one world and one people. That transcends all the words we could ever say.”
Organizers say they expected more visitors than usual, but not this many.
Mohamed Bayoumi: “I really cannot describe how I feel about the support that we are getting from the city. It makes me feel like we are among friends.”
Sheharyar Shaikh: “So many people have called to show their support. So it has truly been heartwarming and truly very surprising for us.”
The Imam says while he never again wants to feel the heartache he felt on Sunday, the one thing the tragic event has done is bring Muslims closer together, with each other and the communities they live in.
Sheharyar Shaikh: “Mosques throughout Canada are actually experiencing a higher volume of people coming in. This is definitely something very good.”
On Saturday Kingston Public Library’s Isabel Turner branch will host a 4-hour information session called ‘Islam Understood’ – a travelling information session which aims to educate and eliminate misunderstandings about Islam.