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Rumours: Muslims are attacking Muslims

Rumour has it that the suspect in the Quebec City shootings, Alexandre Bissonnette, may have had a Muslim accomplice. There is no evidence supporting this rumour and I wish to quell it. In fact, we do not know Alexandre Bissonnette’s motives. All we know is that the suspect is 27-year-old Laval University student Alexandre Bissonnette, a Quebecer. At first, two suspects were named, but this theory was abandoned. Alexandre Bissonnette is the only suspect.

In short, New York Times journalists Craig S. Smith and Dan Levin gave an accurate and balanced description of events. Canada is growing into a multicultural society and Quebec political leaders advocate interculturalism. However, Canada has its share of extremists and Islamophobia exists in my country as it does in other areas of the world.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/31/quebec-city-mosque-shooting-canada-far-right-politics

Alexandre Bissonnette’s Facebook account revealed that he was following Marine Le Pen‘s National Front, a nativistic French political party. Moreover, it seems that Alexandre Bissonnette was a fan of American President Donald J. Trump, a nativist. The suspect may also have shared sovereigntist Parti Québécois‘ ideology, but I haven’t read from a reliable source that he did and the Parti Québécois does not advocate violence. (See Quebec Sovereignty Movement, Wikipedia.) The more pertinent fact is that the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec has not been identified as an Islamic terrorist cell.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-city-mosque-gun-shots-1.3957686

The Migrant Crisis

The Migrant Crisis has played a significant role in a shift to Far-Right ideologies in many countries. It started with the inconclusive Brexit vote and, on 8 November 2016, the United States elected Donald J. Trump to the presidency of their country. The United States is resisting and such figures as former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, the daughter of refugees from Czechoslovakia, bemoan the fact that the inhabitants of Syria and six other majority-Muslim countries are temporarily denied entry to the United States. American President Donald J. Trump is keeping his campaign “promises.” On 30 January 2017, the morning after the Quebec City shootings, he announced his anti-immigration and travel policy. Americans are protesting.

Conclusion

We cannot and will not assume that Alexandre Bissonnette was working for a group of Muslim extremists unless clear evidence supports that view. Such a theory is consistent with President Trump’s offensive notion that all Muslims are terrorists. The investigation into the Quebec City attack started as soon as the shootings occurred, but results will not be known until the matter has been fully investigated. It is Canada’s policy to welcome, help and protect its refugees and immigrants, and this will not change. The victims were fine Canadian citizens and Alexandre Bissonnette is the only suspect.

As noted above, events are as described by New York Times journalists Craig S. Smith and Dan Levin.

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© Micheline Walker
2 February 2017
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