— Quaker pastor and founder of the Quaker faith says he’s “devastate” about the massacre at a Quebec City mosque on Friday.
Quakers believe that God has sent a peacekeeping force to protect the world from the ravages of war.
“I’m devastated by the events of Friday, and I’m also very angry that this could happen in the first place,” said Pastor Tim Rees in an interview with CBC News on Saturday.
“This is not an American or a Canadian problem.”
Rees said the mosque was built to protect Canadians from a “radical Islamic terrorist attack” in which about 300 people were killed.
“We pray that this will be a sign of hope for the people who have been victims of terrorism in the U.S. or Europe,” Rees added.
The Canadian Muslim Association says the mosque in Quebec City was built in the late 19th century and has had a longstanding presence in the area.
In 2015, a Quaker minister made a speech at the mosque praising the community for its “wisdom and compassion.”
Reees said he was invited to speak by the local Quaker leader, a man named Jean-Jacques Duclos.
“He came and said, ‘Can you pray with us?’ and he did and it was wonderful.
And he said, `Thank you for standing by us and for standing up for our values.'”
Rees, who is a father of four and is a member of the Canadian Christian Association, said he met Ducloses family when he was a youth minister.
He said he has been “wounded and hurt” by the recent events in the United States.
“It’s a devastating situation for our community, it’s a terrible situation for the community, and it’s the same situation for all of us,” he said.
“There is a tremendous amount of suffering in this country.
And we have to continue to work together to try to find solutions.”
Reys statement comes a day after Quebec City Mayor Denis Coderre offered his condolences and called for a unity and peace that would allow people to move forward.
Coderres office also said it is a “senseless act of terrorism.”
In an interview earlier this month, Coderris said the shooter was an imam who worked at the Islamic Society of Quebec, which is a religious institution and which was attacked by the Islamic State in January.
“What he did is an attack on all Muslims,” Coderrez said.
Rees says he hopes that the Islamic Community of Canada will be able to find a way to reach out to the family of the shooter and offer support to the mosque.
“They are a very close family.
They have been very affected by the shooting in Quebec,” Reys said.
The mosque has since closed, although the building is still open.
CBC News has contacted the mosque and the Quebec Muslim Association for comment.