Demonizing Muslims: White Quebec Terrorists kill 6 in attack on Mosque

TeleSur | – –

Incidents of Islamophobia have increased in Quebec in recent years amid a political debate over banning the niqab.

At least two people have been arrested in the aftermath of the deadly shooting of a Quebec City mosque that has left five people dead in the eastern Canadian province, according to reports.

Many others were left with injuries and have been taken to the University Hospital of Quebec. Others are in hospitals throughout the city, hospital spokesman Richard Fournier told CNN.

The attack occurred around 8 p.m., during evening prayers at the Islamic Cultural Center of Quebec City, also called the Grande Mosque de Québec, on Sainte-Foy Street.

A witness told Reuters that three armed men had opened fire on about 40 people inside the mosque.

According to news agency La Presse, one of the suspects, who was later caught by police on a bridge, was carrying an AK-47 assault rifle. Local newspaper Le Soleil said police told them a third suspect could still be on the run.

At least 20 emergency vehicles arrived at the scene and police quickly set up a security perimeter. Quebec City Police later confirmed that the area had been secured.

“The site is secure and the occupants (of the mosque) were evacuated. The investigation continues,” the department tweeted.

“Why is this happening here? This is barbaric,” said the mosque’s president, Mohamed Yangui.

Yangui, who was not inside the mosque when the shooting occurred, said he got frantic calls from people at evening prayers. He did not know how many were injured, saying they had been taken to different hospitals across Quebec City.

Incidents of Islamophobia have increased in Quebec in recent years amid a political debate over banning the niqab. In 2013, police investigated after a mosque in the Saguenay region of Quebec was splattered with what was believed to be pig’s blood. And in the neighboring province of Ontario, a mosque was set on fire in 2015. In June 2016, a pig’s head was left on the doorstep of the cultural center once again, with an Islamophobic letter being subsequently distributed in the vicinity.

According to Yangui, however, the mosque had stopped receiving threats after that.

“We have a very good relationship with the neighbors, with the community,” he told the Edmonton Journal. “There’s mutual respect – and now today we have this dramatic event.”

Canadian leaders have already condemned the attacks.

Quebec’s Premier Philippe Couillard expressed solidarity with the Muslim community, tweeting, “Let’s unite against violence…We stand in solidarity with the Muslim people of Quebec,” CNN reported.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also took to social media, tweeting: “Tonight, Canadians grieve for those killed in a cowardly attack on a mosque in Quebec City. My thoughts are with victims & their families,” in both French and English.

Via TeleSur

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Related video added by Juan Cole:

CBS New York: “5 Dead In Quebec Mosque Shooting”

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14 Responses

  1. This will be played down in the media, after all these are Muslims who have been killed, and it seems right now Muslim lives are cheap both in the Middle East and in North America. Now if this had been a church or a synagogue, this would have been really big news, and loud outrage.
    Between the war mongering by the US and Western nations, jihadis, and the Islamaphobes spewing anti Muslim rhetoric, the world has deliberately been turned into a war between Islam/Muslims versus all others. Oh, and now we have anti Muslim Trump too who has been signaling that it is okay to hurt Muslims.

    • The killer is white and Quebec born. Described as right wing, pro Trump, anti-immigrant and anti-feminist.
      Trump is not popular outside the US and this won’t be forgotten here. It’s taken very seriously.
      Even Canada’s former conservative PM would have surely condemned this act.
      Unfortunately some people here import neo-nazi and demagogic trash radio attitudes from the US.

  2. The latest official report is that there is now only one suspect, Alexandre Bissonnette, who called 911 a few minutes after the attack and surrendered to police. The other person, Mohammad Belkhadir, has been released from custody and is now considered to be a material witness and will not be charged with any crime.

    Bissonnette is a 27 year old university student, the son of an old-stock French Canadian family. His Facebook page had likes for Donald Trump, Marine LePen (the French right wing extremist) and the state of Israel. He is expected to appear before a judge later today and be charged.

    I have lived in Québec City for 40 years and I am a Muslim. With a few exceptions, Quebeckers are sympathetic, kind people who are very accepting of Muslims. Canada has already taken in more than 25,000 Syrian refugees and about 5,000 of them have come to Québec. There have been NO serious refugee-related problems. The US, with a population 9 times greater than Canada, has taken in only about 10,000 Syrians and has not slammed the door on all refugee claimants from around the world in addition to all people from 7 Muslim-majority countries.
    Today the Québec flag is at half-mast on the Québec National Assembly building and the Canadian flag is at half-mast on the federal Parliament in Ottawa and in many other places throughout the country.

  3. There is one and only killer, Alexandre Bissonnette, Quebec born.
    Described by neighbors as shy and not mentally ill (although the act is insane).
    He is described by a university colleague as right wing, pro Trump, pro Le Pen, anti-immigrant, anti-feminist. Obviously a gun lover.
    He was trolling on a FB site welcoming immigrants.
    Quebec city is known in the province of Quebec as a right wing trash radio nest, vocal but not representing the majority.
    Quebec has the lowest number of homicide by firearms in Canada.
    The debate on religious signs is centered on French like state laicity stipulating that civil servants should not wear any obvious religious signs. It doesn’t concern life outside the civil servants duty.

  4. “The man who was held, Alexandre Bissonnette, had a history of provocative views and antisocial behavior, according to a report in the Quebec newspaper La Presse.”

    “The authorities initially said that there were two suspects, but Quebec’s provincial police agency said on Monday that only one man was a suspect and that another man — arrested at the mosque on Sunday evening and identified as Mohamed Belkhadir — was only a witness. Mr. Belkhadir was released on Monday, as the authorities searched a house in the Cap-Rouge section of Quebec, where Mr. Bissonnette lived.

    “For the moment, nothing indicates to us that there was anybody else involved,” said Chief Inspector André Goulet of Quebec’s provincial police agency.”

    from the New York Times

  5. The Surete of Quebec made some mistaken assumptions. There was only ONE shooter who is now in custody. A gun was found in his car. The second “gunman” is a North African Muslim member of the mosque and was wrongly labeled. There was no third gunman.
    The name of the shooter is Alexandre Bissonette, and he is a student at Laval U.
    Irony of ironies is that Price, the Donald’s pres sec. was rationalizing the ban on Muslims as a proactive measure to prevent such terrorist massacres.

  6. Seems Bissonnette is the only suspect now. The other person arrested, Mohamed Belkhadir, is no longer a suspect and being treated as a witness.

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