Imam says speech came from his heart
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.
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.