Two armed masked men armed stormed into a mosque on Sunday evening just as prayers were ending. They opened fire killing six men and injuring 19 others, five of whom remain in hospital in critical condition.
Forty-eight hours earlier President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order banning citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. This spurred numerous protests across the country, many at airports, as travellers already en route were detained upon arrival.
A nasty divisive debate has gripped the US regarding the nature of the bans. Are they religion-specific? Is the move anti-Muslim or anti-terror? Does the new US administration even understand the difference between those two concepts?
So is it surprising that, in light of this debate, this horrific shooting should occur? No doubt someone must have figured out that sooner or later some rabid anti-Muslim fanatic would take matters into his own hands. It was bound to happen.
But what does come as a surprise is that the murders were not carried out in Michigan or Iowa. But in Quebec City, here in Canada.
I suspect some will point out that this just does not happen in Canada. But it does, it did. Others will state that we have lost our innocence. But we lost that long ago, just ask the friends and families of Corporal Nathan Cirillo, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent.and the victims of 1989’s École Polytechnique massacre.
While more will ponder whether the debate to our south played any role in the killings. Often perpetrators of mass shootings take their own lives or are killed by law enforcement officers (commonly called suicide by cop) while in the act. But in the Quebec City case both suspects are alive and in custody. Will they fess up to being influenced by President Trump’s bombastic approach being implemented a mere three-hour drive to the south? Has the cauldron of hate that has been stirred by Trump’s rhetoric throughout the election process, leading to his victory, splashed over the border?