The Canadian city of Quebec was rocked last night when masked gunman entered a mosque during evening prayers, shooting six dead and wounding eight others.
Most news accounts of the story say something similar to the Daily Mail in that “the attack came amid global condemnation of President Donald Trump’s Muslim travel ban.”
However, were the attackers angry white supremacist Trump supporters filled with hatred for Muslims? Of course we don’t know all the details yet but we do know two key things.
Witnesses told how they heard shouts of “Allahu akbar” in Quebecois accents from the masked shooters.
And “Police have arrested two people with one said to be ‘of Moroccan origin’ and both understood to be students from Quebec’s Université Laval.”
The Daily Mail says, The shooting unfolded after a weekend which has seen US President Donald Trump’s divisive and controversial ‘Muslim immigration ban’ spark widespread protests across America. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had said that his country remains open to all immigration, insisting ‘diversity is our strength’.
One attack suspect was detained at the mosque and the other was caught after a chase that ended near l’île d’Orléans around 15 miles from the scene. There are reports this morning that one suspect called emergency services to ‘confess to his crime’ because he ‘felt bad’ about the atrocity and wanted to shoot himself.
According to Le Soleil, the 27-year-old’s Mitsubishi was pursued towards Félix-Leclerc highway before he stopped the vehicle himself. He is said to have had at least one handgun and two weapons ‘that resembled AK-47s’ on his back seat. The same website says searches have since taken place at two addresses in his city.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded to the attack saying, ‘We condemn this terrorist attack on Muslims in a centre of worship and refuge. While authorities are still investigating and details continue to be confirmed, it is heart-wrenching to see such senseless violence. Diversity is our strength, and religious tolerance is a value that we, as Canadians, hold dear.’
New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio was also quick to ensure the Muslim community in his city would be protected.
To my fellow New Yorkers who are Muslim: New York City will protect you. The NYPD will protect you. We will fight all hatred and bias.
— Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) January 30, 2017
Clearly the implication is that the mosque was targeted because of anti-Muslim hatred stoked by Donald Trump. But if the attackers themselves shouted “Allahu Akbar” and were indeed Muslim…well, where will the left go with that one?
This attack was heinous, unacceptable and horrific. But as the left always cautions after attacks of this nature: “Let’s not jump to conclusions.”
UPDATE: We now know the shooter’s identities:
[Note: This article was written by Michele Hickford]