A prayer for those who could not finish their prayers

From the address given by Imam Hassan Guillet at the funeral for 3 of the Quebec City mosque victims, Ibrahima Barry, Mamadou Tanou, Azzeddine Soufiane:

The society that could not protect them, the society that could not benefit from their generosity still has a chance. The hands that didn’t shake the hands of Khaled or Aboubaker or Abdelkrim or Azzedine or Mamadou or Ibrahima, that society can shake the hands of their kids.

We have 17 orphans. We have six widows. We have five wounded.

We ask Allah for them to get them out of the hospital as soon as possible.

Did I go through the complete list of victims? No.

There is one victim. None of us want talk about him.

But given my age, I have the courage to say it. This victim, his name is Alexandre Bissonnette.

Alexandre, before being a killer he was a victim himself. Before planting his bullets in the heads of his victims, somebody planted ideas more dangerous than the bullets in his head.

This little kid didn’t wake up in the morning and say ‘Hey guys instead of going to have a picnic or watching the Canadiens, I will go kill some people in the mosque.’ It doesn’t happen that way.

Day after day, week after week, month after month, certain politicians unfortunately, and certain reporters unfortunately, and certain media were poisoning our atmosphere.

We did not want to see it. We didn’t want to see it because we love this country, we love this society. We wanted our to society to be perfect. We were like parents, their kids [are] smoking or taking drugs and your neighbour says that your kid was taking drugs, I don’t believe it, my son is perfect.

We don’t want to see it. And we didn’t see it, and it happened.

[ETA Gandhi’s favorite bhajan. It describes who can be called a Vaishnav Jan
or God’s person. Written in Gujarati by Narshi Mehta in the 15th century. Via commenter schrodingers_cat]

50 replies
  1. 1

    Gandhi’s favorite bhajan, sung by Ustad Rashid Khan.
    Vaishnav Jan

    ETA: It describes who can be called a Vaishnav Jan
    or God’s person.
    Written in Gujarati by Narshi Mehta in the 15th century.

  2. 2
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Oh goddammit, Sarah, that is fucking heartbreaking.

    Before planting his bullets in the heads of his victims, somebody planted ideas more dangerous than the bullets in his head.


  3. 3
    Brachiator says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Have I found a correct translation of part of it?

    Call those people Vaishnavas who
    Feel the pain of others,
    Help those who are in misery,
    But never let self-conceit enter their mind.

    Very touching.

  4. 4
    🚸 Martin says:

    The White House has still not made any mention of the incident. Trump was quick to mention the Louvre shooting, where nobody was hurt other than the attacker.

    People are noticing.

  5. 5
    jl says:

    Thanks for the quotes, SPaT, from the sermon and the link. Very moving. I teared up several times. Very blunt and plain spoken and very moving.

  6. 6
    Svensker says:


  7. 7
    Jeffro says:

    That is so incredibly brave…so incredibly wise, loving, and peace-loving. This atheist sends his thanks, Imam – peace be upon you.

  8. 8
    Yarrow says:

    @🚸 Martin: White people are not terrorists in Trump’s America.

  9. 9

    @Brachiator: More or less. Its like a gist of Geeta. You do the right thing without expectation of a reward.

  10. 10

    That’s wonderful. I don’t know how that Imam managed.

  11. 11
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I had lunch yesterday with an old friend. I spent a fair amount of time expressing my anger/rage/pure hatred of the current Republican presidency. She finally noted, very gently but firmly, that as long as I devote my energy into hating him, I am surrendering my power to him. It doesn’t mean changing my actions (marching, protesting, giving money, phoning, etc.) but it does mean shifting my emotional focus from hating him to helping and loving others.

    I found my friend’s perspective very helpful.

  12. 12
    Joyce H says:

    Hey, did anyone else see that clip of Bill O’Reilly interviewing Trump? The whole interview will run tomorrow and I think it will stir up some stuff. O’Reilly asked Trump if he thought he could work with Vladimir Putin, and Trump was all, oh sure he could, we could fight Isis together, etc. O’Reilly, trying to signal the correct answer, says, “He’s a killer,” and Trump replied (this is from memory so probably isn’t exact), “So? Lots of people are killers. You think we’re any better?”

    Whew! Man, the White House Press Corps could have a lot of fun with that if they wanted to. Sample questions: “Sean, how many people has the president killed?” “Is the president planning to poison his political opponents?”

    But man, the US being no better than Putin’s Russia? – even the GOP is going to find that darn hard to swallow.

  13. 13
    Joyce H says:

    @Joyce H: Okay, here’s the exact quote: “There are a lot of killers, we’ve got a lot of killers. What; do you think our country’s so innocent.”

  14. 14

    @Iowa Old Lady: Because he is literally a God’s person, like the one Narsi Mehta describes in the bhajan. Which by the way is sung by a Muslim here, one of the greatest living vocalists of Hindustani Classical music.

  15. 15
    jl says:

    @Joyce H: I don’t think much use in trying to try reading tea leaves or Kremlinology (I guess that is very appropriate term these days) re what Trump says. He is such an ignorant fool who thinks he is a world historical genius.

    The line that keeps coming to my mind is Larry Wilmore’s crack that Trump is the kind of person who is absolutely sure something is true because he just heard himself say it. I think that hit the nail on the head.

  16. 16
    Jeffro says:

    @Joyce H:

    The whole interview will run tomorrow and I think it will stir up some stuff. O’Reilly asked Trump if he thought he could work with Vladimir Putin, and Trump was all, oh sure he could, we could fight Isis together, etc. O’Reilly, trying to signal the correct answer, says, “He’s a killer,” and Trump replied (this is from memory so probably isn’t exact), “So? Lots of people are killers. You think we’re any better?”

    This is what they are reduced to…I think it was Senator Corker who, knowing full well Russia’s involvement in our election, said,

    “In the world of covert activities, countries, large sophisticated countries do things against each other to understand what’s happening within those countries. I think people who have been around for awhile understand that’s what happens,” he said during an interview on MSNBC.

    “I think what was unprecedented, Steve, was the fact that they did so so overtly,” he added. “The fact is, there’s nothing Putin would like more than to discredit the electoral process here in our country.”

    Having said that…Corker has done…nothing. ‘Cause it was his guy that won. Somehow I think if it was the Chinese assisting Hillary, we might have a different scenario playing out…

  17. 17
    James Powell says:


    Been that way for quite a while. Whites are always lone nuts or aggrieved martyr wannabes.

  18. 18
    Yarrow says:

    @James Powell: Yep. But they made it official this week.

  19. 19
    Baud says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I’m sorry to hear that. I’ve enjoyed your company.

  20. 20
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I’m going to try not hating and see if I sleep better, if my blood pressure goes down, and if I feel a bit more aligned with my “better angels,” for lack of a more useful term. It doesn’t mean I’ve changed my opinion of him or his enablers in any way. It’s simply a shift in energy. If I hadn’t said anything, I guarantee you wouldn’t notice any difference! The Snark Abides.

  21. 21
    Jeffro says:

    I think the important thing for folks to harp on is, Trump is excusing the murder of journalists and opposition leaders. By the head of a hostile foreign power. Who most likely helped him get elected to office. Full stop.

    Throw ol’ Lord Shortfingers a curveball, journalists: ask him what he would be saying if Hillary was president (despite losing the PV by almost 3M votes) and she was a-ok with the Chinese murdering opposition leaders and journalists. He’d just blow it off, right? “You think we’re any better?”

    Sick hypocrites, these Rs.

  22. 22
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    LOL. I’m not going anywhere.

  23. 23
    jl says:

    @Baud: If you had gotten off your duff and won the election, things would have been a lot more fun now. All the WH beer pong scandals that would have broken the news during the first couple of weeks would have been more fun than the crud Trump has been pumping out.

  24. 24
    Lizzy L says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Good for you. I made that decision about mid-December. It took a while, but I started sleeping better, and my energy for organizing and for resistance shot way up. I’m still too tense sometimes, but it’s no longer a constant thing. I hope you get similar results.

  25. 25
    Citizen_X says:

    @Joyce H: Holy shit.

  26. 26
    magurakurin says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: thank you for sharing this. I will try to do the same.

  27. 27
    jl says:

    Romney rides into the eleventh dimension on the boilerplate express

    Mitt Romney: Trump has “obviously gotten off to a very strong start.”

    But Mitt doesn’t regret what he said about Trump during the election, that he is completely unfit for office and an all-purpose toxic jackass.

  28. 28
    Baud says:

    @jl: I realize now that I made a mistake trying to save some money and asking Papua New Guinea to interfere in the election on my behalf instead of going to Russia like everyone else.

  29. 29
    scottinnj says:

    Very powerful speech. This Iman has more bravery in his little pinky than the entire GOP establishment.

  30. 30
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Joyce H: The GOP is made up of cowards who deserve to die 1,000 deaths each. Fuck them.

  31. 31
    jl says:

    @Baud: Russia is hep now. It is a true thought-leader. All the superpowers want to go into irreversible social and economic decline and degeneracy the Russian way. It’s the fashion these days, I hear.

    Edit: See, Trump and his cronies are smart cookies. They see things we yokels don’t. Russia is gong into decline trying to prop up the obsolete petroleum economy. We can beat them at that. We have oil, but we have coal too! Winner!!

  32. 32
    rikyrah says:

    Judd Legum Verified account

    1. Trump announced his plans to gut financial regulations today? Key question: How will this benefit the firms to which he owes money?

    Judd Legum ‏@JuddLegum Feb 3

    2. What kind of favorable refinancing has Trump been able to achieve just since winning the election?

    Judd Legum ‏@JuddLegum Feb 3

    3. Trump said the move would benefit “his friends.” Which friends?

    Judd Legum ‏@JuddLegum Feb 3

    4. Trump’s continued ownership of his businesses is the most serious conflict of interest in US history

    Judd Legum ‏@JuddLegum Feb 3

    5. It’s getting ZERO scrutiny from this Congress

  33. 33
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Lizzy L:

    Thank you for that. Your words are very encouraging.

  34. 34
    rikyrah says:

    Matt McDermott Verified account

    New rallying cry: We’re not ‘coastal elites’ we’re the new moral majority

  35. 35
    MomSense says:

    I read this earlier today and couldn’t stop crying. Such wisdom and also a call to each of us to consider carefully what we choose to nurture with our words and our deeds.

    I received a shipment today of four giant boxes of yarn. Apparently when my cousin’s daughters were clearing her house they found her “stash”. It’s so personal and such a window into a person’s creative life. These are the things she bought envisioning projects, the unfinished projects she abandoned, and lots of little scraps of things she tucked away. I remembered the baby things she made for each of my boys now carefully tucked away with my keepsakes.

    I know how we emotional it is for us to grieve the loss of a family member and now to think of a faith community who must still grapple with fear of violence on top of the grief. It’s heartbreaking. How do you hold on to your faith when something like that happens?

    I’ve been so angry since the election, so anguished. The selfishness, hatred, bigotry, ignorance, greed, and cruelty that visited trump on our world has to be answered with appeals to fairness and decency. I don’t think I am as evolved as Imam Guillet. I have too much anger and sadness to work through but I don’t think I have to act on it. I’m kind to everyone around me. I try to be patient. I’m not ready to stop ranting here on balloon juice. That’s going to have to be enough for now.

  36. 36
    Jeffro says:

    @jl: Those must have been some good frogs’ legs at that post-election dinner w/ Trump…

  37. 37
    Siubhan "love is all around, fuckers!" Duinne says:

    Temporarily changing my nym for baud and efg. And anyone else who laughs at my sudden sweetness and light.

    See y’all once I’m released from nym-changing FYWP purgatory.

  38. 38
    MazeDancer says:

    Thank you for posting this, Sarah. Hadn’t seen anywhere else. This Imam is a very impressive man.

    Hate is not inborn. It does have to be taught. Circumstances can make people reach out to hate and cruelty as answers. They never are.

    One of the most brutal aspects of Trump’s daily onslaught of crazy is how much hate he creates. Daily, I roar inside with hatred for him and his assault on our nation’s very existence. The amount of hate he makes me feel is upsetting. No, I am not going to go murder people. But the hatred is, definitely, murdering parts of me.

    Don’t have this Imam’s abilities to stop my hatred of Trump and what he’s doing. Not actually sure how to handle how much I want Trump, and his wretched followers, out of my country and gone, off the planet. Not dead. Just gone.

  39. 39
    rikyrah says:

    A Wilmer acolyte went after this guy on twitter.

    Big mistake…huge….LOL

    Adrian C. Jackson

    Adrian C. Jackson Retweeted

    1. So this Bernie apologist decides to dip in my mentions & come for me; ill-advised & without receipts…ok.

    Viewer discretion is advised.

    Adrian C. Jackson ‏@AdrianCJax 23h23 hours ago

    Adrian C. Jackson Retweeted vixticator

    2. So you say Bernie Sanders is this exceptional listener of people’s needs. Ok, “ally”…who has he listened to?🤔

    Adrian C. Jackson ‏@AdrianCJax 23h23 hours ago

    3. The women’s groups he scolded because they exercised their right to not go to the dance with him?

    Adrian C. Jackson ‏@AdrianCJax 23h23 hours ago

    4. The AIDS activists he egregiously toyed with as a political prop for his campaign?

    Adrian C. Jackson ‏@AdrianCJax 23h23 hours ago

    5. Notable Civil Rights leaders who’ve never witnessed him make concerted or individual attempts to help?

    Adrian C. Jackson ‏@AdrianCJax 23h23 hours ago

    6. Or how about Black voters living below the Mason Dixon line he so callously insulted?

    Adrian C. Jackson ‏@AdrianCJax 23h23 hours ago

    7. I DO remember him hearing out Trump – the petulant Head to his shit-ridden Tails – to work on white people issues

    Adrian C. Jackson ‏@AdrianCJax 23h23 hours ago

    8. His behavior is on-record; if you choose to blithely ignore his betraying/manipulating of us to preserve his privilege…your prerogative.

    Adrian C. Jackson ‏@AdrianCJax 23h23 hours ago

    9. But defending him with insulting, self-aggrandizing nonsense, absent of facts & masked behind concern trolling? Spare me & my mentions.

    Adrian C. Jackson ‏@AdrianCJax 23h23 hours ago

    10. Especially when you’re too fucking lazy to even pull receipts or a summary of his record to enlighten yourself. Fuck it…I did it for you


    Adrian C. Jackson ‏@AdrianCJax 23h23 hours ago

    15. @paulkrugman tried to school y’all on the HRC/Bernie contrast; showed why PoC & women championed HER: She’s OUR ally…Bernie ain’t!

    Adrian C. Jackson ‏@AdrianCJax 23h23 hours ago

    16. Bernie lacks the empathy HRC holds for the underrepresented. He has no use of us non-“White males”…other than to cede our power to him.

    Adrian C. Jackson ‏@AdrianCJax 23h23 hours ago

    17. And when we didn’t anoint him “savior,” we were met w/ character assassination, speaking as an “uninformed Southern Black confederates.”

  40. 40
    Mnemosyne says:

    If we could all be as generous and open-hearted as Imam Guillet, the world would be a better place.

  41. 41
    Mnemosyne says:

    @🚸 Martin:

    Somebody led Trump to the phone like he was a sulky six-year-old and made him do a formal condolence call but, as the whole planet has figured out by now, if he doesn’t Tweet about something, he doesn’t really care.

  42. 42
    Mnemosyne says:


    Yeah, it’s a small but important shift: from focusing on how much I hate Trump to focusing on how I can help the people that he’s hurting.

    It’s not easy, but I think it’s better in the long run.

  43. 43
    Siubhan "love is all around, fuckers!" Duinne says:


    Somebody led Trump to the phone like he was a sulky six-year-old and made him do a formal condolence call but, as the whole planet has figured out by now, if he doesn’t Tweet about something, he doesn’t really care.

    “Hi, Justin? Sorry about all those dead Canadian Muslins. There, happy now?”

  44. 44
    Siubhan "love is all around, fuckers!" Duinne says:


    It’s not easy, but I think it’s better in the long run.

    I’m sure it’s better for you, and for me. More effectivective? I’ll wait and see.

  45. 45
    Siubhan "love is all around, fuckers!" Duinne says:


    More effectivective?

    Stooped STOOPID autocorrect. It randomly changes everything I type correctly, but when I make a dumb typo like “effectivective,” it’s just dandy with that and never says a word.

  46. 46
  47. 47
    opiejeanne says:

    @🚸 Martin: I saw someone claiming that Lumpy had called Trudeau but I sure haven’t seen it in the media.

  48. 48
    opiejeanne says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I’m so glad you’re here.

  49. 49
    opiejeanne says:

    @MazeDancer: I was making myself sick for this same reason, right after the election. I was in mourning, I was in a rage, I was in disbelief, my ears were ringing, my stomach was clenched, and I just wanted to lay down and die. Except I didn’t want to die, I wanted someone to fix this, to find the missing ballots, the conspiracy, the cheat, and make Hillary President.
    After a week I knew I had to stop or I’d end up in the hospital, so I took the advice of someone here who said to take control of the things in your life that you CAN control, like clearing out your closets and organizing your books.
    So we cleaned house. Then we cleaned out our closet, donated a lot of very nice things that I never wear, and tidied up what remained.
    Two weeks later I was in the hospital with appendicitis, the day before Thanksgiving and I was hosting. I was so glad I had tried working on realigning my head a bit the previous week because it made me look clearly at how much good there still is, how good most people are. I went into the hospital at 8:30am, the surgery was that evening, and they sent me home at 10am the next morning. Everyone on staff was so good to me, except one jerk of a nurse who tested my blood sugar by jabbing the end of a finger instead of the side, and laughed at me.
    I am a long way from recovered from this nightmare so I started organizing my pantry on the 21st because it was too soon after the surgery to go to the marches (and I feel bad about that), making a pile of cookbooks to donate to the Friends of the Library, and keeping track of what I cook each day of this presidency as well as listing the outrages du jour before I get to the recipe. I think it helps to keep me focused on my own life and gives me a break from the horrors of the day.
    Taking time away from Facebook is also very good for the soul, as I’m sure a break from Twitter would be if I weren’t so amused by Bob Schooley and electricbrotha, and John Scalzi.
    This place, Balloon Juice, has helped keep me sane more than any other place on the internet.

  50. 50
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:


    Thank you for your report. It’s good to hear how other people are coping.

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