The topic of Islamophobia has been very relevant in the United States, especially in response to President Trump’s travel ban, which has been pegged as a “Muslim Ban” by opposers. Recently, similar discussions of Islamophobia have sparked in Canada after a terroristic attack against Muslims occurred. On Sunday, January 29th, a shooter attacked a Mosque in Quebec City. This event was a shock for Canada, as their terrorism rates have stayed low since 2014.
The identified attacker who shot six people in their place of worship is Alexandre Bissonnette, who was a student at Laval University. Originally, two people were arrested as suspects, but it has been found that one is only a witness. Though the shooter’s motive has not been heard, the crime was ruled an act of terrorism. Bissonnette now has five charges of attempted murder and six counts of first degree murder. This particular Mosque has been targeted before. A pig’s head was left in front of the door which is clear act of mockery towards the Muslim religion, as pork is prohibited under the Quran.
Since the attack, the Muslim-Canadian population has been receiving support from their communities. A vigil was held for the victims and members of the Mosque. Canadian officials have ensured their support of Muslims, including Quebec Premier Couillard who posted,”We stand in solidarity with the Muslim people of Quebec” on social media. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, attended the vigil and sent condolences to the families of those impacted. He also wrote, “Muslim-Canadians are an important part of our national fabric” in his official statement. At the vigil, the Intercultural Center of Quebec handed out pins that read “Welcome to all refugees” in French. The Quebec Islamic Cultural Center has spoken out, thanking everyone for their condolences.
Article by Devon Kimbel and Kylie Miller.