‘You can’t be scared of death’

Friends of Que­bec City shoot­ing vic­tims to con­tinue pray­ing in tar­geted mosque

Cape Breton Post - - CANADA -

A small Que­bec City apart­ment block turned into a place of mourn­ing on Tues­day as mem­bers of the Guinean Mus­lim com­mu­nity gath­ered to re­mem­ber two of the six vic­tims of last week­end’s mosque shoot­ing.

In the lobby, flow­ers rested on a small wooden ta­ble next to a sign com­mem­o­rat­ing Ibrahima Barry and Ma­madou Tanou Barry, who lived in sep­a­rate apart­ments with their fam­i­lies.

Souley­mane Bah, the head of Que­bec City’s Guinean as­so­ci­a­tion, helped to co-or­di­nate the flood of vis­i­tors ar­riv­ing to pay their re­spects.

A reg­u­lar at the mosque where the shoot­ing took place, Bah said that while the small Guinean com­mu­nity of be­tween 300 and 400 peo­ple is afraid, all want to re­turn to their place of wor­ship.

“It’s very im­por­tant to re­turn, that’s clear,” he said. “You can’t be scared of death be­cause you can­not es­cape it. What’s re­ally hor­ri­ble is leav­ing or­phans be­hind.”

The two Barry men, who aren’t re­lated de­spite the com­mon name, left be­hind six kids.

Ibrahima was also just about to be­come a Cana­dian cit­i­zen.

“He fin­ished his test, all that was left was the cer­e­mony,” Bah said.

Bah said the six bod­ies are in a Mon­treal morgue for au­top­sies and that the fam­i­lies were told they could pos­si­bly have ac­cess to the bod­ies on Tues­day or Wed­nes­day.

There is also talk of a joint fu­neral cer­e­mony for the six men, although it is un­clear when it might hap­pen.

“I spoke with the pres­i­dent of the mosque, he is a friend,” said Bah. “We want to co-or­di­nate the com­mem­o­ra­tions to­gether for com­mu­nal prayers. And then we’ll de­cide where they will be buried.”

Tanou’s fam­ily is con­sid­er­ing bury­ing him in Mon­treal, while Ibrahima might be flown to Guineau, said an­other fam­ily friend.

Harouna Diallo was among the friends of Ibrahima and Tanou who gath­ered in a third unit of the apart­ment build­ing, also home to a Guinean fam­ily.

Diallo too, said he will re­turn to the mosque to pray.

“We can’t be afraid of death,” he said. “We don’t want to die right away, but if death finds us at the mosque that’s OK with me.”

“It’s more im­por­tant than ever to re­turn to the mosque. For me, it’s where I am com­fort­able, even af­ter what hap­pened.”

Lamine Nabe said his kids are still ask­ing about the shoot­ing and if they can re­turn.

“You’re never 100 per cent safe, any­where,” he said. “It won’t be like be­fore, but cer­tainly we will go back to pray.”

CP PHOTO

Azze­dine Najd and Fadwa Ach­maoui stand by a memo­rial near their mosque which was site of Sun­day’s deadly shoot­ing, Tues­day in Que­bec City.

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