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Worshippers in shock

Muslims in Quebec City say they are in shock over the mass shootings at two mosques in New Zealand, a little more than two years after their community came under attack.

The head of the Quebec City Islamic Cultural Centre is offering condolences to the grieving families of the at least 49 people killed at mosques full of worshippers attending Friday prayers in Christchurch.

Boufeldja Benabdallah says his thoughts are also with the families of victims in Quebec City who are being forced to relive what they went through in January 2017.

He said people in his community are feeling indescribable pain, adding that it is time for lawmakers to legislate against extremism.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also condemned the fatal shootings in New Zealand, saying the attack on people during prayers is "absolutely appalling."

In a brief statement on Twitter today, the prime minister said Canadians join New Zealanders and Muslim communities around the world in grieving.

One man was arrested and charged with murder in what appeared to be a carefully planned racist attack.

There are unconfirmed reports that the shooter was influenced by Alexandre Bissonnette, the former Universite Laval student convicted of killing six people at a mosque in Quebec City on Jan. 29, 2017.

A now-deleted Twitter account that is believed to be linked to the accused shooter shows what appear to be three assault-rifle magazines, one of which has Bissonnette's name on it.

Benabdallah told reporters Friday in Quebec City those who suffered through the 2017 attack are reeling again in light of another attack on a place of worship.

"I'm convinced they are feeling a terrible pain. Imagine the children of those families here in Quebec who are hearing it on the radio and will watch their mothers cry and ask, 'Why are you crying?' " Benabdallah said.

"The mothers will remember the 29th, when they ran to get husbands who were killed by Alexandre Bissonnette."

Benabdallah added that amid the mourning, it was time to speak out against extremism in all its forms.

"We must get back to work once again to explain, to tell these extremists of all stripes who politicize religion, like extremists who use race as a basis for discrimination, that we must change," Benabdallah said.

"The world cannot continue like this."



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