‘Rings Of Peace’ Surround Canada’s Mosques In Wake Of Deadly Attack

Hundreds of Canadians formed human shields around mosques as Muslims gathered for the first Friday prayers after a deadly attack on an Islamic center in Quebec.

Yael Splansky, senior rabbi at Holy Blossom Temple, Toronto’s oldest Jewish congregation, organized efforts in her community and told reporters that she hoped the “rings of peace” would send a message to Muslim Canadians that they aren’t alone. Splansky said she was inspired by a similar display of solidarity at a mosque in Oslo, Norway, in 2015.

“No Canadian should be afraid to go to their house of worship to pray,” Splansky told Canadian network CTV News on Friday. “It’s a terrifying scene. Imagine people of faith going to pray in peace, to pray for peace and to be at risk. Houses of worship are sacred and must be protected.”


Canada, like the United States, has witnessed a staggering rise in anti-Muslim sentiment and attacks in recent years. This fact became all too real Sunday when a gunman opened fire at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City, killing six people and injuring 19 others.

Alexandre Bissonnette, a French-Canadian university student known to have far-right, nationalist views, was arrested and charged with six counts of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder on Monday. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau characterized the attack as an act of terrorism, telling Muslims: “Thirty-six million hearts are breaking with yours. Know that we value you.”