Members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Lloydminster held a special Friday prayer for those affected by the Humboldt Broncos hockey team bus crash that claimed 16 lives a week earlier. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Lloydminster held a special prayer boosted by hockey stick power for all those affected by the Humboldt Broncos bus tragedy.
Local Muslims offered Friday prayers at the Baitul Amaan Mosque from 1-2 p.m. for members of the Broncos hockey team that were killed or injured when their team bus collided with a transport truck on April 6.
“We say that we as a family it is our duty to have the same grief as the Humboldt Broncos are having,” explained Imam Mansoor Azeem.
“We the Ahmadiyya community grieve the same as the whole of Canada as a family.”
Outside the mosque, Muslim youth stood together in solidarity carrying hockey sticks to pay tribute to the Broncos hockey team in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.
The accident took the lives of 16 members of the Broncos organization with many others hospitalized and recovering from injuries.
“We believe that Humboldt was our family, so as the family grieves at this time, the whole of Canada grieves—we the Ahmadiyya community grieve the same as the whole Canada as a family,” said Azeem.
“They were part of the team and the team is Canada, so we lost our teammates with this tragedy and that is why we are supporting the Humboldt Broncos.”
Azeem said not a lot of local Muslim youth play ice hockey, but about 15-20 were expected to bring hockey sticks for the event.
One of those youngsters who came with a hockey stick was Abdullah Nasir, a Grade 5 student at Winston Churchill School after wearing his support the day before with a sports jersey.
“I want to honour the young people like the Broncos who died in the bus crash,” he explained.
Grade 10 Lloydminster Comprehensive High School student Kamran Rajput also took the opportunity to show his support with prayers and sticks.
“I come to pray usually on Friday and I heard about the tragic bus crash that happened,” he said.
“Every Canadian is participating and putting their sticks on their porches, so I was like ‘why not have a community give tribute to those players who passed away and their family members and to those who are healing in the hospital right now.’”
Rajput says he plays floor hockey right now, but said if he gets a chance to learn how to skate, which he is hoping to do, he will eventually play ice hockey too.
“So I want to be a proud Canadian who wants to participate in this tribute as well so I have brought as many sticks as I have and place them outside our mosque today.”
He and several other students and adults hoisted their sticks in the air for a photo op before leaving them by the door for others to reflect upon.