In Vancouver, up to 200 people packed outside the Al Jamia Masjid mosque in heartbreak and solidarity over the shooting in Quebec City.
Vancouver Police Chief Adam Palmer expressed shock and horror at the attack.
He says while there’s been no sign of a threat in Vancouver, officers are working to make the community feel safe.
“I know an incident like this shakes everybody to the core, and it’s on everybody’s minds. And my promise to you as the Chief of Police is to continue to do my best, and my officers will do our best to stay in touch with all of our partners, and make sure that we maintain public safety in this community, and make it a safe and caring place for everybody.”
Palmer was joined by more than a dozen speakers, including Muslim leaders and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.
Amid candlelight and prayers, Robertson addressed a diverse crowd outside the Al Jamia Majid Mosque, sharing his own horror at the massacre… and his commitment to tolerance in the city.
“That’s who we are in Vancouver, we’re many cultures from all over the world, that’s our greatest strength.”
“We don’t want to see the world go this way. We can’t let the world go this way. We can’t let hatred and racism intrude in our lives and affect each other this way.”
Community leaders read the names of the dead… and praised the city for coming together in the face of the tragedy.
Palmer also told the crowd the force was taking extra steps to make the community feel safe.
Solidarity in the face of creeping intolerance was the overwhelming message.
“Ibrahim Avari, 39 years old….”
Tears were shed as the names of the fallen were read.
But among the diverse crowd which ranged from Muslim to Jew, Indian, White, and Asian, a sense of gratitude and hope at the way Canadians had recoiled from the attack.
15 year old Asad Khan says it makes him feel safe in his mosque.
“It’s been really great just knowing that people care about Muslims, and that no matter what, nothing can stop us and hate will never win.”
Many cited President Trump’s so-called Muslim ban and recent racist flyers as further reasons to come together.
Raza Mirani, General Secretary of the Mosque, says Vancouver’s response has helped dull that anxiety.
“When you have an event like this, it hits home. That kind of hatred and that kind of rage and somebody feeling entitled to be able to do something like that… it makes you question. But then again you come to an event like this and it reassures you just in the beauty of this country.”
Vigil attendees ranged from kids to grandparents, and represented at least half a dozen religions.
The common refrain: in coming together — love can win over hate.
It’s been confirmed by Quebec Police that 27-year-old Alexandre Bissonnette has been charged with six counts of first degree murder, and five counts of attempted murder following Sunday’s shooting.