London United It's better to light a candle, than curse the darkness

Last night, Londoners gathered at Victoria Park in remembrance of the Quebec City mosque shooting. The shooting was a violent reminder to a growing problem here in Canada. Whether we like it or not, Islamophobia is here. We can choose to shy away from it. We can choose to ignore it. Or, we can stand against it. On February 1, 2017, Londoners made their choice- to stand in solidarity with the muslim community .

Looking through the crowd, one couldn't hep but notice the diversity. Sikhs, Christians and Jews had all gathered here tonight to offer their condolences and show their support.

"I'm a Christian. And I feel like Christians are disturbingly silent. It's very important for me to come and honour those lives that are lost. But also as a Christian, to show the muslim community that I love them. That I see them. That I accept them." Sophie Sheldrick

As the candles burned, the sounds of prayer echoed throughout the park. Emotions were running high. A local Imam Abd Alfatah Twakkal lead the crowd through an interfaith prayer, in english and in arabic. In his closing words, he asked the crowd to look within their hearts, "you cannot fight hate with hate. Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that".

"God praises those who curb their anger and forgives others. This is what it means to be a virtuous human being." - Imam Abd Alfatah Twakkal

As the nation comes to grips with a senseless act of terror, it's nights like these that restore hope, "this does gives us a message of hope" explains Imam Abd Alfatah "this is a reminder that Canadians share the same values that we share deep in our hearts."

In the past week, we've witnessed the worst of Canada- islamophobia- a real and growing problem. However we've also witnessed the best of Canada. In the vigils held across the country, Canadians took the opportunity to stand alongside fellow muslims. We showed solidarity. And we showed our fellow Canadian muslims, that we are better than this. What happened in Quebec was misrepresentative of Canadian values and sentiments. Yes, there are legitimate concerns and growing fears within the muslim community that need to be addressed. However, if one thing has been made clear in recent days, our love will always be stronger than our hatred.

Created By
Arash Randjbar
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