By Constance Guindon
By Constance Guindon
Quebec City – Quebec Provincial Police have released the names of all six fatal victims of the Quebec City shooting at the Islamic Cultural Centre.
As the sun set a full 24 hours after the fatal multiple shooting at a mosque in Quebec City, the focus was sharpening on the perpetrator of the massacre which left six men dead and several wounded as they stood during evening prayers.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) has reported that Laval University student Alexandre Bissonnette, has been charged with six counts of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted first-degree murder with a restricted weapon. Bisonnette is a student of anthropology and political science.
Contrary to rumours claiming that Bisonnette was a Muslim terrorist, he had, in fact, targeted Muslims as they gathered for evening prayers Sunday evening. According to the CBC, he had been inaccurately portrayed as a Muslim terrorist during a press briefing at the White House, by Trump’s Press Secretary Sean Spicer. This has caused much confusion and caused critics of Trump to accuse him of trying to use the tragedy to support his Muslim ban.
According to the same source, Bisonnette was not known to police but very well known to fellow Laval University student activists as a dedicated anti-feminist and a fan of Marc Le-Pen, who targeted young women in his rampage killing at University of Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique in 1989. That massacre claimed the lives of 14 women.
The CBC is also reporting that the names of the deceased have been released and the families have been notified. All men, they are Azzedine Soufiane 57, Khaled Belkacemi 60, Boubaker Thabti 44, Abdelkrim Hassane 41 and brothers, Mamadou Tanou Barry 41 and Ibrahim Barry 39.
A Moroccan Falls
According to Facebook and Twitter posts, Azzedine Soufiane, owner of a halal grocery store, had lived in Quebec City for 30 years. He was originally from Morocco. Newcomers to Canada always found their way to his shop where he welcomed them and provided guidance and brotherhood. Long-time friend of Soufiane, Amine Noui, described him as a very nice, social and well-liked man, well-liked by all his customers. “He was a father to everyone here.”
Time for a Leader
Covered live on the CBC earlier Monday, as Parliament convened, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and opposition leaders each spoke of the attack’s impact during the first 24 hours following the tragic event. Trudeau spoke about what makes Canada strong:
“Diversity is our strength and religious tolerance is a value that we, as Canadians, hold dear. Muslim-Canadians are an important part or our national fabric, and these senseless acts have no place in our communities, cities and country.”
The Prime Minister concluded his remarks, assuring the victims and families of the victims that “39 million hearts” were breaking along with them, referring to Canada’s national population.