Imam says speech came from his heart

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD -

An imam who spoke at the funerals for three mosque shoot­ing vic­tims says he be­lieves his words have be­come pop­u­lar on so­cial me­dia be­cause his mes­sage came from the heart.

Has­san Guil­let, 64, says he didn’t even pre­pare his speech, which has been lauded for its mes­sage that the man ac­cused of the shoot­ing in Que­bec City last week is him­self a vic­tim of hate, and that peo­ple shouldn’t seek re­venge for the crime.

“Peo­ple could see that the man stand­ing in front of them is an hon­est man, a sin­cere man and a sad man and is talk­ing his pain. I think it was ap­par­ent,” Guil­let said about the speech he de­liv­ered Fri­day.

Sto­ries about the speech have since ap­peared on the so­cial me­dia feeds around the globe, in­clud­ing some celebri­ties.

“The ex­tra­or­di­nary and humane words of Imam Has­san Guil­let, at the fu­neral for the vic­tims of the Que­bec massacre,” J.K. Rowl­ing, au­thor of the Harry Pot­ter se­ries, tweeted along with a link to a tran­script of the speech.

Six men died and 19 oth­ers were in­jured when a gun­man stormed the mosque in Que­bec City and opened fire on men who were at­tend­ing evening prayer.

Guil­let told the gath­er­ing that the vic­tims were the dead, the in­jured, the wit­nesses, Que­be­cers and Cana­di­ans — but also the man ac­cused of mur­der.

“Be­fore shoot­ing bul­lets into the heads of his vic­tims, some­body planted ideas, more dan­ger­ous than the bul­lets, in his head,” Guil­let said at the event.

JAC­QUES BOISSINOT, THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Peo­ple ob­serve a minute of si­lence Sun­day at a Que­bec City march in sol­i­dar­ity with the vic­tims of the mosque shoot­ing Jan. 29 in which six peo­ple died and 19 were in­jured.

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