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Canadians raise cash for Muslims affected by Quebec mosque terror shooting

The Independent logo The Independent 2017-02-02 May Bulman

Canadians have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for those affected by the shooting at a Quebec mosque on Sunday night.

A collaboration between a Canadian restaurant and an international Islamic charity has raised more than $60,000, while another Canadian Muslim organisation has collected almost $292,000 to offer relief in the aftermath of the tragedy.

Six people were killed and a further 19 injured in the attack when a gunman opened fire at a mosque in Quebec City during evening prayers on Sunday.

Middle-eastern Ontario-based restaurant Paramount Fine Foods and Islamic Relief Canada, the largest Islamic charity in the world, launched a campaign on Monday to raise money for supporting injured victims and the families of those killed, as well as efforts to reconstruct the mosque and protect the local community.

Mohamad Fakih, CEO of Paramount Fine Foods, said: “We were all shocked when we heard the news of the shooting. I wanted to help and today I am committed to making sure the funding for the reconstruction of the mosque is taken care of as well as all the funeral costs for those killed.”

Donations will be divided up into various support efforts, including tightening security at the mosque and others nearby, paying counsellors to those affected by the tragedy and helping support those recovering from injuries from the shooting, according to Zaid Al-Rawni, CEO of international charity Islamic Relief Canada.

Mr Al-Rawni added that the tragedy had brought a sense of hope and unity among the Canadian people, saying: “This is an outright rejection of intolerance. If intolerance is allowed to take hold it will destroy everything we know and love about this country.

“All Canadians are coming together and acknowledging that these aren’t our values, we know what our values are and they are values we all share as Canadians.

“It’s a beautiful thing for us to see. I know from speaking to the community in Quebec, that they are really feeling the love from across Canada.”

A separate fundraising appeal launched by Canadian Muslim organisation DawaNet has raised $292,000 (£177,582), which it said will contribute to funeral costs as well as supporting other short-term financial needs of the families of the victims.

The man charged with carrying out the attack is French-Canadian Alexandre Bissonnette, a 27-year-old white student who supported Donald Trump and far-right French politician Marine Le Pen.

On Wednesday, Fox News was forced to delete a “false and misleading” tweet that claimed the suspect in the attack was of Moroccan origin, following a call from the office of the Canadian Prime Minister for the network to remove the post.

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