Montreal mosque honours Muslim, Indigenous veterans in online ceremony

A Montreal mosque commemorated Muslim soldiers who died in World War I and Indigenous veterans in a unique online ceremony on Sunday.

The event was organized by the Jama'at Ahmadiyya congregation in Montreal North.

“400,000 Muslims fought alongside the British in the First World War, many from among thoese were Ahmadiyya Muslims,” said Ishque Fonseca, the mosque's imam.

The virtual ceremony brought together 70 Montreal Muslims and politicians. For the first time, the ceremony also commemorated Indigenous Veterans Day, which recognizes the contributions made by First Nations, Inuit and Metis to the military.

“It's not just Muslims who fought in the First World War but also the Indigenous of Canada who also fought in the First and Second World Wars,” said Fonseca.

Among those in attendance were Canada's Minister of Crown Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennett.

“First Nations, Inuit and Metis people across Canada set an important example for all Canadians for the respect and honour they express for veterans,” she said.

From 1914 to 1918, more than 4,000 Indigenous people served in uniform.  

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