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Trudeau Tells Muslim Canadians, "We Will Defend You, We Will Love You"

Six people were killed in what officials are calling a terrorist attack.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke directly to Muslim Canadians from the House of Commons Monday, saying they are not alone.

Adrian Wyld / THE CANADIAN PRESS

"To the more than one million Canadians who profess the Muslim faith, I want to say directly, we are with you," said Trudeau. "Thirty-six million hearts are breaking with yours. Know that we value you. You enrich our country in immeasurable ways, this is your home."

"We will grieve with you, we will defend you, we will love you, and we will stand with you."

Trudeau's remarks came after a shooting at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City during evening prayers that killed six people and injured eight others. All the victims were men between 39 and 60 years old, police said.

Both Trudeau and law enforcement have described the rampage as a terrorist attack, and one suspect is in custody.

"Such senseless violence has no place in Canadian society," said Trudeau. "Canada has long been a diverse and accepting nation. We are kind, we are generous, and we embrace one another not in spite of our differences, but because of them."

“Last night’s horrible crime against the Muslim community was an act of terror committed against Canada, and against all Canadians.”

"The people who commit these acts mean to test our resolve and weaken our values," he added. "We will not close our minds, we will open our hearts."

Trudeau's remarks were met with a standing ovation from all members of the House of Commons, as were statements from the other party leaders.

Adrian Wyld / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose said the attack "strikes at the very heart" of Canadian values and religious freedom.

"Under the banner of Canadian citizenship, we will stand together," she said.

"This attack offers another sad reminder that our country is not immune to terrorism, and it demonstrates that we must always be vigilant against this threat."

NDP leader Tom Mulcair opened his remarks with Arabic greeting "as-salamu alaykum" and, like Trudeau, spoke in solidarity with Muslim Canadians.

Adrian Wyld / THE CANADIAN PRESS

"To all our Muslim brothers and sisters, we mourn with you, we pray with you, and we pledge that we will stand united to fight against hate, intolerance and Islamophobia," he said.

He also spoke out "against those who peddle the policies of fear and division."

"Today our hearts are broken but with love and hope we come together wit the shared belief that we will overcome," he said.

Speaking for the Bloc Québecois, interim leader Rhéal Fortin denounced the "senseless and cowardly massacre," adding "we are in desperate need of love."

Green Party leader Elizabeth May, who appeared on the verge of tears, was the last to speak before a moment of silence, saying "today we are all Muslims, we stand with you."

Lauren Strapagiel is Managing Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto, Canada.

Contact Lauren Strapagiel at lauren.strapagiel@buzzfeed.com.

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