Even if time passes inexorably, does its work slowly and can heal many wounds, even if the scars of the terrorist horror which bloodied the Grand Mosque of Quebec fade little by little, nothing will ever erase the memory of the six Muslim victims who fell under the bullets of a cold and remorseless monster: the right-wing extremist Alexandre Bissonnette, whose Islamophobic fury at its peak pushed him to commit the unspeakable, during a snowy and freezing Sunday evening in the end of January 2017.
Their names are solemnly recited at each poignant commemoration, Mamadou Tanou Barry, Ibrahima Barry, Khaled Belkacemi, Abdelkrim Hassane, Azzeddine Soufiane and Aboubaker Thabtithese six fathers of Algerian, Guinean, Moroccan and Tunisian origin, and eminent figures of the Quebec Muslim community, were cowardly slaughtered in the haven of peace where they were performing evening prayers with infinite devotion.
Sentenced to life imprisonment, after having walked in the bloody wake of the one he praises, the merciless Anders Breivik (the Norwegian terrorist author of the Oslo and Utoya massacre in 2011), Alexandre Bissonnette nevertheless saw himself standing before him, during his murderous crusade, faithful of extraordinary bravery.
It is these four heroic survivors of the massacre perpetrated in the Grand Mosque of Quebec that Canada recently chose to honor, during an emotional ceremony.
Having escaped certain death by attempting, at the risk of their lives, to disarm the terrorist who came to shed blood, Saïd Akjour, Hakim Chambaz, Aymen Derbali and Mohamed Khabaren received the prestigious Medal of Bravery and Sacrifice from the hands of Mary Simon, the Governor General of a maple country still deeply scarred by this unthinkable tragedy.
Regret Azzedine Soufianewho succumbed to his serious injuries after valiantly facing Alexandre Bissonnette, and his black gaze in which his determination to kill was reflected, received the Star of Courage posthumously.
“ Today we award you these medals in recognition of your courage and sacrifice. Today we honor your courageous and selfless actions “, said Mary Simon, visibly upset, adding: “ You all made the choice to try to save a life. You gave the most important gift in a terrible situation: you gave hope… You showed how much you care. Courage is an act of kindness “.
Among these four faithful whose heroism was revealed by the terrible tragedy, Aymen Derbali, a father of three children, is today confined to a wheelchair, after having had his body riddled with seven bullets. It was under the proud eyes of his young son Ayoub that he was showered with praise by the country’s governor.
“ Aymen Derbali, listening only to his courage, rushed towards the terrorist with the aim of destabilizing him. Even though he was shot several times, he tried to get up numerous times to offer resistance to the shooter before losing consciousness. », recounted Mary Simon with immense admiration.
“ I am very honored. It is a very gratifying act of gratitude for me and for everyone who was at the mosque that evening. Above all, we must not forget this massacre and its victims, and it is our duty to do everything to ensure that it does not happen again. It is our duty to fight Islamophobia and all forms of racism and discrimination “, seriously insisted Aymen Derbali, this ordinary Muslim hero of Islamophobic barbarism.