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Ottawa's Muslim community shocked by New Zealand shootings

"We believe that if people knew Muslims personally...the likelihood of such events (like the Christchurch shootings) would decrease," an Imam told 1310 NEWS.
The Ottawa Mosque on Northwestern Avenue. 1310 NEWS file photo

The capital's Muslim community, heartbroken by another violent attack against members of their faith, are looking at what can be done to reduce the chance of extremist views sparking violence.

Muslims heading to Friday prayers in Ottawa did so with heavy hearts, over the news of mass shootings during prayers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

"We are shocked by this atrocity," said Imam Luqman Ahmed of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at of Canada. "In times like these, our faith teaches us patience and prayer."

Ahmed thinks attacks like the one in Christchurch are the result of misconceptions about Islam and hate-mongering against Muslims. Ottawa's Muslim community regularly holds open houses for non-Muslims to meet their Muslim neighbours.

"We believe that if people knew Muslims personally, on a one-on-one basis, the likelihood of such events [like the Christchurch shootings] would decrease," Ahmed told 1310 NEWS.

Non-Muslims can also help stop this sort of extremist violence, Ahmed suggested, by speaking out when they hear hateful rhetoric targetting Muslims.

Jason White

About the Author: Jason White

Jason is an award-winning reporter at CityNews Ottawa. He brings about two decades of experience in news, with stops in Halifax and Toronto.
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