Sask. Muslim community grieves for victims of Norway attacks
Candles burn as people look at tributes outside the Oslo Cathedral in Oslo, in memory of the victims of Friday's bomb attack and shooting rampage, in the early hours of Tuesday, July 26, 2011. (AP / Matt Dunham)
Published Tuesday, July 26, 2011 6:36PM CST
The impact of the devastating attacks in Norway continues to hit home. Saskatchewan's own Muslim community is expressing compassion for the victims abroad.
Ahmed Shoker is the past president of the Islamic Association of Saskatchewan. "I wish I could go there and hug some of the parents there. I give them my hat for not speaking against some of the Muslims there."
For most there is no hatred, as Aqeel Wahab says, only a common understanding. "I can guarantee you the last thing Muslims would do is be angry with Norwegians. If anything they would feel, I get where you're coming from."
In the wake of these attacks, the seeming lack of hostility is reassuring to many. For some, this is in part due to Canada's long standing tradition of multiculturalism, says Canadian military veteran Major-General Lewis MacKenzie.
"We've had multiculturalism for a long time. We're used to it. The Scandinavians aren't."
The former UN commander says that racial tensions are unlikely to happen here as a backlash. "What are we going to do, run around killing Norwegians? Same thing for Muslims, they're the victims here."
For some, this is a rallying cry for Canadians to learn from the lessons of others, says Shoker. "Do not let the actions of this crazy individual, do not let hate separate us. We must be united in goodness."
There is a memorial service planned for Saskatoon to remember the victims in Norway. It takes place Wednesday night at the Good Sheppard Lutheran Church, starting at 8:00 p.m..