Six people succumbed to injuries and eight remain injured after gunmen opened fire inside a mosque in Quebec city on January 29. The shooting occurred during the evening prayers. According to Mohamed Yangui, the president of the mosque, about a dozen people were praying inside the building at that time. The police arrested two men after the event. The event was described by Philippe Couillard, the Quebec Premier, as an example of “barbaric violence”. Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, echoed the Quebec official, saying the event can be described as terrorist attack inflicted on the Muslims.
Shooting and tolerance
As per Yangui, the gunmen started shooting in the mosque’s men’s section. Five people died quickly due to bullet wounds. Prime Minister Trudeau, in his statement, said that even as the authorities continue to investigate and details yet to be confirmed, it is a sad sight to witness such senseless violence. The Prime Minister of Canada reminded everyone that tolerance towards other religions carries high value. Canadians, he said, value such traits. Muslim-Canadians are vital to the Canadian framework and these acts of terrorism holds no place in the communities, the cities and the country as a whole.
Prime Minister Trudeau assured fellow Canadians that the law enforcement authorities in the country will protect rights of all the country’s citizens. The government will leave no stone unturned to catch all suspects linked with this heinous act. Authorities will clamp down all intolerance related activities. Similar sentiments were echoed by other Canadian authorities as well. Ralph Goodale, the Minister for Public Safety, said that his office was monitoring the situation. He, however, could not confirm any motive for this crime.
Shooting in the Quebec city mosque was felt in the United States as well. In its statement, the New York Police Department (NYPD) said that members of Critical Response Command were already assigned to a few mosques after news of the attack came in. The Critical Response Command is the New York City police’s anti-terrorism squad.
For the Quebec city mosque, this was not the first instance of hate crime. In 2016, a worshiper found that a head of a pig has been left at the door of the mosque. Pork is prohibited in Islam. The pig’s head in all probability had been thrown to the mosque at around 2:30 in the morning. A note accompanied the head, saying “Bon appetit”.