After convert’s killing, Quebec mosque eager to ‘live and let live’

Mosquée al-Imane de Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu

They knew they had a convert in their midst, but worshippers at the tiny mosque wedged between a paint store and a canvas shop on this city’s main commercial drag say they had no idea how radical Martin Couture-Rouleau had become.

The president of the Al-Imane mosque where Mr. Couture-Rouleau worshipped says the new convert started coming for prayers in the summer of 2013, was only an occasional visitor, didn’t really mix with others. He and stopped attending about two months ago said Abdelhamid Bekkari, the president of the Al-Imane mosque. Several worshippers interviewed briefly confirmed Mr. Bekkari’s impression, saying they were only aware a “Québécois” had joined in but didn’t know his full name…

…Mr. Bekkari said his mosque, housed in an aging strip mall, is hardly a radical hotbed. Its imam works only part-time, women and children take part in most activities and an RCMP officer is a member of the mosque. (Mr. Bekkari declined to identify the officer.)

“We’re overwhelmed. We just want to live and let live, and we feel like we’re being punished for something that has nothing to do with this,” Mr. Bekkari said…

The location of the mosque says nothing at all about whether or not it is “radical.”

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