PASTOR VALLE-GARAY* / Guest columnist
It was a tragedy that hurt the soul and fiber of every Canadian. Alexander Bissonnette, a 27 year-old white French-Canadian walked into a mosque an coldly assassinated 6 Muslims and wounded another five, all of whom were praying in the Mosque. Bissonnette was captured shortly after the tragedy.
Canadians were in shock. A nation that prides itself on being the most multicultural nation in the world was devastated by the crime. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the killing as did the Premier of Quebec and the Premiers of the nation. People gather by the thousands in Quebec City, Toronto and other cities to hold memorials, to pray and to stand united with their Muslim brothers and sisters in the hours of sorrow.
Not so in Washington. Top members of the Trump administration and TV Fox seized on the crime to justify the US government’s policies against immigrants, and to place the blame for the killings squarely on Muslim criminals. It took two days and a number of emails from the Prime Minister’s office for Fox-TV to remove the offending mention about Muslims killers at the Mosque in Quebec.
It is disgraceful and unconscionable that the Trump administration would use this horrible tragedy to further their own cause against immigration. It is a definite illustration of how low Trump and his minions will go to score points in support of their evil plans even if it takes creating, using and distributing misinformation about the crime and hurting the Muslim relatives, friends and all the Canadians who have been profoundly impacted by the killings.
What is just as telling is that, and contrary to the Trump statements and to the FOX news readings, the killer Bissonnette was not only not Moroccan as these idiots claimed but in fact he was a white French-Canadian and an admirer and supporter of the policies of Trump against Muslim and other immigrants to the United States.
Canadians do not take kindly to these wild, irresponsible and unfounded accusations and lies, particularly when they hurts a nation that prides itself on its multiculturalism and its acceptance of people from all over the world. More than one million Muslims leave peacefully in Canada. Neither Trump, nor FOX or anyone else in the US government can paint the Canadian Muslims as international terrorists. It would do well for Mr. Trump, his son and their surrogates to inform themselves before jumping to colossal, erroneous conclusions as they did in Quebec’s tragedy.
*Nicaraguan-Canadian journalist and former Nicaraguan diplomat. Senior Scholar, York University. Based in Toronto.