One of my firm rules-of-thumb is to never, ever believe the first reports that emerge from a chaotic situation like a mass shooting or other attack. Authorities often use the fact that the public fixates on the first report to promote initial false news to serve their agenda, knowing that many fewer people pay attention to the later corrections. Other people seize upon wrong information and run with it to create wild scenarios.
Take the case of the horrific shooting that occurred at a mosque in Quebec, Canada that left six dead and eight wounded.
A MASS SHOOTING at a Quebec City mosque last night left six people dead and eight wounded. The targeted mosque, the Cultural Islamic Center of Quebec, was the same one at which a severed pig’s head was left during Ramadan last June. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the episode a “terrorist attack on Muslims.”
Almost immediately, various news outlets and political figures depicted the shooter as Muslim. Right-wing nationalist tabloids in the UK instantly linked it to Islamic violence. Fox News claimed that “witnesses said at least one gunman shouted ‘Allahu akbar!’,” and then added this about the shooter’s national origin:
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer exploited the attack to justify President Trump’s ban on immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries. “It’s a terrible reminder of why we must remain vigilant and why the President is taking steps to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to our nation’s safety and security,” Spicer said at this afternoon’s briefing when speaking of the Quebec City attack.
But these assertions are utterly false. The suspect is neither Moroccan nor Muslim. The Moroccan individual, Mohamed Belkhadir, was actually one of the worshippers at the mosque and called 911 to summon the police, and played no role whatsoever in the shooting.
The actual shooting suspect is 27-year-old Alexandre Bissonnette, a white French Canadian who is, by all appearances, a rabid anti-immigrant nationalist. A leader of a local immigration rights groups, François Deschamps, told a local paper he recognized his photo as an anti-immigrant far-right “troll” who has been hostile to the group online.
The suspected shooter who carried out a massacre of Muslims praying at a mosque in Quebec, Canada is a strong supporter of far-right U.S. President Donald Trump and a right-wing extremist, according to his former classmates, acquaintances, and social media accounts.
During evening prayers on Sunday, January 29, a gunman opened fire in the Quebec Islamic Cultural Center, killing six worshipers and injuring 19 more. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the shooting as a “terrorist attack on Muslims.”
The suspected assailant, 27-year-old Alexandre Bissonnette, is a white Canadian who has expressed far-right, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, anti-feminist, and pro-Israel views.
Now that the suspected shooter is a right wing, white supremacist and not a Muslim, expect this story to disappear from public consciousness. In fact, it already largely has, unlike the San Bernadino killings that served the agenda of the anti-Muslim bigots.