"Six men were killed and 19 others wounded when a gunman opened fire on worshippers at the mosque as they prayed shortly before 8 p.m. January 29, 2017. Alexandre Bissonette, a university student, has been charged with six counts of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder in relation to the attack. The January 29 shooting was commemorated through different events January 26-29 , said Bruce Myers, bishop of the diocese of Quebec". "Quebec City Anglicans have also been helping support victims of the attack. In the immediate aftermath, the diocese, Myers says, contributed to a widows' and orphans' fund set up to support family members of the victims. More recently, Anglicans have lent their support to Aymen Derbali, a member of the mosque who was shot seven times while reportedly drawing the shooter's attention to himself in an attempt to save others". "Myers said the cathedral parish has designated its Christmas Eve offering to the fund -- according to Facebook post by cathedra; Dean Christian Schreiner, this totalled almost $900 -- and a fundraising concert is being organized in the cathedral". "The diocese has been reaching out to Quebec's Muslim community since the shooting in a variety of ways, Myers said, hosting this fall, for example, a gathering of Muslim and Anglican families in the cathedral, with similar events planned for the near future".
"Negative sentiments against Muslims and Jews are on the rise in 'old Europe' more than anywhere else in the world today, a survey released in September  by the Pew Research Center's Pew Global Attitudes Project has shown". "Meanwhile, a recent Leger Marketing poll has shown that nearly two out of five Canadians hold anti-Muslim sentiments". "The unfavourable view of Muslims was more pronounced in French Canada. 'It is indicative from this poll that more needs to be done by Canadian Muslims to educate the public about Islam and the Muslim community,' said Ihsan Gardee, CAIR-CAN [Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations] community relations director. 'At the same time, the poll speaks to the need for the active integration of Canada's growing Muslim population to combat Islamophobia and discrimination'."
"Quebec's recently-passed Bill 62, which bans the wearing of niqabs and other face coverings to people both providing and receiving government services, could ultimately threaten the safety of the province's Muslims, say Quebec's Anglican and Lutheran bishops. 'To be secular means to be pluralistic, allowing freedom of belief both in one's private and public life', says Mary Irwin-Gibson, Anglican bishop of Montreal; Bruce Myers, Anglican bishop of Quebec; and Michael Pryse, bishop of the Eastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada in a joint statement released October 30 . 'The provision of Bill 62, however they are applied, unnecessarily put that fundamental freedom -- and potentially people's security -- at risk'" (pp. 1, 7). "[I]n the wake of threatening or violent incidents like the January 29  shooting at Quebec City's Grand Mosque -- Bill 62 is helping foster 'a climate of suspicion and fear' that threatens the safety of Quebec Muslims, the bishops say. Six people were killed and 19 injured, several of them children, during the incident" (p. 7).
"'What do we who are not Muslims really know about what Muslims believe ?' This was the question that inspired the Rev. Natasha Brubaker Garrison to invite Imam Syed Soharwardy to participate in an Imam-in-Residence program at St. Martin's Anglican Church in Calgary, where she serves as rector. Soharwardy, who follows the Sufi tradition of Islam, chairs the Al Madinah Calgary Islamic Assembly and is the founder of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada". "(In 2011, there were 25,920 Muslims living in Calgary, representing 2.6 per cent of the population.)" "But the dialogue has gone both ways, and Soharwardy says that his community has also learned much through the experience. 'There are many Muslim people who have never been in their entire life inside a church. They have never had the opportunity to see what a church looks like from the inside'."
"Canadians are growing more comfortable with a range of different faiths, according to a February 2017 Angus Reid Institute opinion poll on six major religions. The three religions most favourably viewed by Canadians are Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism, while Islam is more often viewed skeptically, though increasingly less so". "[P]erhaps in the context of contemporary geopolitical conflicts, almost half (46%) of Canadians view Islam negatively. 'The lower levels of favourability are likely the result of the fact that Islam is almost the exclusive focus of media attention in Canada and internationally', said Paul Bramadat, PhD, director of and professor at the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society and in the history department at the University of Victoria, B.C., in an interview".
"A Leamington, Ont., church is renting out space in its basement to local Muslims for use as a mosque. Since this spring [, Muslim worship has been held in the basement of St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church, diocese of Huron, says the church's rector, the Rev. Andrew Wilson". "Najam Jutt, who leads prayers for the group, says the church basement is a big improvement over the rented office space they were using before. It's roomier, and, more importantly, it's a powerful symbol of religious tolerance, he says". "It originated ultimately from the church's work sponsoring and assisting refugees in the area. In September 2016, the church invited some Syrian refugees to attend its annual picnic, including a tour of the church. As Ramadan -- the Muslim holy month of dawn-to-dusk fasting -- approached this spring , a member of the group inquired about renting space in the church".
"I suspect the impact of bin Laden's summary execution will be something akin to seeding a cancer tumour. Any surgeon will tell you this is the last thing you want to do when someone has cancer. The act of cutting out the tumour can release microscopic cancer cells into surrounding tissues, where they start to grow and form new potentially more deadly tumours. It's anything but a cure". "In light of recent events, it is tempting to retrench. But the 'them' and 'us' approach was never so wrong as it is now. If ever there was a time to open our hearts and minds to the people of Islam, this is it. We need to acknowledge that we understand very little about the religion and the culture". "I believe we also need to invest emotionally by extending our friendship and support to the many Muslims living in Canada and elsewhere".
For about three years, Rabbi Elyse Goldstein, the founding and current rabbi of City Shul, a Reform Jewish synagogue, and Canon Gary van der Meer, incumbent of St. Anne's Anglican Church and interfaith officer for the diocese of Toronto, have been doing a preaching exchange between their Toronto congregations. "In early 2013, van der Meer met Ilyas Ally, the son of Shabir Ally -- imam at the Islamic Information and Dawah Centre International, a nearby mosque, and former host of 'Let the Quran Speak', a Toronto-produced television show on Islam -- and the two discovered they shared an interest in interfaith relationships" (p. 13). "The strong links that already existed among the three places of worship ... have made it possible for them to quickly lend support to one another in the aftermath of violent attacks. After the mass shooting at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec on Sunday Jan. 29, 2017 ... St. Anne's and City Shul organized a 'ring of peace' around their friend's mosque" (p. 13). "Tragically, Dawah Centre congregants had the opportunity to send a similar message to City Shul this fall , after a gunman opened fire on worshippers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Penn., October 27 , killing 11 and injuring seven" (p. 13).
"I would like to praise most English Canadian media for their restraint in creating a potential backlash against people of Muslim faith ('Religious leaders condemn Paris attacks', Feb. 2015, p. 8). It is important that we strengthen our interfaith relations at this trying time, when we could easily be tempted to abandon mutual respect and peaceful dialogue". [Text of entire article.]
"For the life of me, I do not understand why Quebec Bill 62, banning the wearing of the niqab, was a topic of debate by Anglican bishops ('Bishops decry Bill C62', Dec. 2017, p. 1). Eighty-seven per cent of the Quebec population agree with this bill, according to an Angus Reid survey conducted October 4 . From your own figures, 100 women are involved in this practice out of a population of eight million. Having lived in Morocco, which is a Muslim country, this is to be expected. But sitting in a park in Canada, with a woman whose face is fully covered, makes me feel uncomfortable. Please, there must be other more important issues for the bishops to ponder". [Text of entire article.]