rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Rest in power: Commemorating Muslim lives lost last January 29

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

Drawings of Azzeddine Soufiane, Mamadou Tanou Barry, Khaled Belkacemi, Aboubaker Thabti, Ibrahima Barry and Abdelkrim Hassane. Image: Melisse Watson and Syrus Marcus Ware

On January 29, 2017, at 7:52 p.m., a young white man entered a mosque in Quebec City in Canada and over the course of a few minutes murdered Azzeddine Soufiane, Mamadou Tanou Barry, Khaled Belkacemi, Aboubaker Thabti, Ibrahima Barry and Abdelkrim Hassane. Five others were badly injured: Aymen Derbali, Said El-Amari, Mohamed Khabar, Nizar Ghlai and Said Akjour.

This was the largest political mass shooting in Canada in 25 years, and the first time Muslims had been killed inside a mosque in North America. As we approach the one year anniversary of this attack, this terrible act of Islamophobic violence, it is vital that we commemorate these lives lost and reflect on how we are all responsible for resisting Islamophobia in Canada, in all of its forms.  

#RememberJan29 was created as a forum to support people in building a web of common experience, connecting the public to the moment of the attack and to each other. The project's website explains that "to #RememberJan29 is to insist that what happened on January 29 is not resolved, and won't simply be resolved with a trial. It is ongoing, it has broader implications and it must be understood for all its complexity." This attack should not simply be understood as the action of a random lone wolf but instead "happened in the context of decades of wars against Muslim-majority countries, which has normalized the killing of millions of Muslims. This dehumanization has resulted in the rate of attacks on Muslims inside Canada increasing 253 per cent between 2012 and 2015." It is because of this larger context that it is crucial that all Canadians participate in #RememberJan29 and take action to address the Islamophobia that continues to grow in this country.  

Melisse Watson, one of the two artists who created the portraits of the victims explains: "Together we will find a way to continue to work towards the futures we imagine, even when grief and pain and loss ask us to see them, to stop to witness them, hope for their freedom, and hold ceremony so that they will be honoured and remembered. Together we will find a way."

Vigils, rallies, film screenings and actions have been announced in 15 cities across Canada and the list is growing. Find an event near you or organize your own: https://goo.gl/aTBqg3.

This story originally appeared on The Council of Canadians blog

Image: Melisse Watson and Syrus Marcus Ware

Like this article? rabble is reader-supported journalism. Chip in to keep stories like these coming.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.