UPDATE: 7:45 pm PST, 1-30-17: Many news organization such as Fox & CNN reported that two suspects were arrested, and one was a Muslim from Morocco named Mohamed el Khadir. Khadir is now being labeled as a witness and is not charged. According to Fox News, Alexandre Bissonnette, a 27-year-old resident of Quebec, is the only suspect to be charged with murder at this time. Our original story is below.
Donald Trump announced on Friday that he signed an executive order banning travel from seven Muslim countries. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded on Twitter by announcing the exact opposite: that refugees were welcome in Canada. “To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength. #WelcomeToCanada,” he tweeted.
After what came next, will he start rethinking that?
Sunday evening, the same day Trudeau sent out his tweet, two attackers went on a shooting rampage at a mosque in Quebec. Six people were killed at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre, and eight were injured. Witnesses said that they heard the shooters shouting “Allahu akbar!” before starting their rampage. One of the suspects was arrested immediately after the shooting, while the other called authorities less than 20 minutes later, and turned himself in. Five people are currently in critical condition, while multiple others have minor injuries. The mosque president called the attack “barbaric”.
Mohamed Yangui reported that 50 people were worshipping at the mosque at the time of the attack, and that the shooters reloaded at least three times. The two shooters have since been arrested and one of the suspects, Mohamed el Khadir, is from Morocco. Police are still unsure if he is, in fact, one of the shooters. The other shooter is believed to be Alexandre Bissonnette, a student at Laval University.
Yet Justin Trudeau doubled down on his previous statement. In a statement, he said, “We condemn this terrorist attack on Muslims in a centre of worship and refuge. 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.”
Trudeau instead denounced the attack as terrorism against Muslims. “We condemn this terrorist attack on Muslims in a center of worship and refuge,” he said. “Muslim-Canadians are an important part of our national fabric, and these senseless acts have no place in our communities, cities and country.” Mosques across the country have reported heavier security, as well as some mosques in the United States. Yet Trudeau evidently wants to continue on with his plan to accept refugees with open arms.
Do you think Canada should continue welcoming refugees?