Mosque Manager ‘Speechless’ by Community Support

Kitchener Waterloo Support for Muslims After Quebec Shooting

KITCHENER — The outpouring of support for the Kitchener Masjid reminds manager Mirsad Kaplani how blessed he feels to live in Waterloo Region.

“I’m speechless. It’s amazing to see the support,” said Kaplani, who has received 15 to 20 phone calls a day from the community reaching out to the Victoria Street North mosque since the tragic shooting in Quebec City on Sunday.

“It didn’t happen in our community, but in our country. We are all one. Whatever happens in Quebec, happens to all of us,” he said.

Each day, the manager at the Kitchener mosque says he receives emails and letters from community leaders and complete strangers who have shared their grief.

Six Muslim men were killed during evening prayers at an Islamic centre in Quebec City.

Alexandre Bissonnette, a 27-year-old Laval University student faces six counts of first-degree murder.

The Kitchener mosque received letters of support from priests, pastors, school principals, police and ordinary citizens.

On Monday morning, a woman with flowers arrived at the mosque. She was crying and distraught over the senseless deaths, he said.

Kaplani decided to let his members know about the support by posting the letters, cards, emails, and tweets on a wall in the mosque, which he calls the “wall of love.”

At Friday prayers, about 1,200 people come to pray and Kaplani said he wanted them to see the wall. Up to 40 non-Muslims came to Friday prayers, including local politicians.

“We are grateful to the community,” he said.

Also on Monday, officers with Waterloo Regional Police came to the mosque,

“They came to see if we had any concerns and to show their support,” said Kaplani. “The presence of the police showing support is important.”

Kaplani said he hopes to hold an open house at the mosque next Friday so that the community can come and meet its members.

Original Article: The Record