By JESSICA YU
On Sunday, January 29, 2017, 27-year-old Alexandre Bissonnette opened fire at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Center, a Quebec City mosque. Bissonnette faces six counts of first-degree murder and five attempted murder charges. He was a student at Laval University’s School of Social Sciences in Quebec City, Canada.
Bissonnette fired into a crowd of worshippers that included men, women, and children. The victims have since been identified: Mamadou Tanou Barry, 42; Abdelkrim Hassane, 41; Khaled Belkacemi, 60; Aboubaker Thabti, 44; Azzeddine Soufiane, 57; and Ibrahima Barry, 39.
This is the second time that the mosque has been targeted. According to a post on its Facebook page, the center received a wrapped pig’s head and a magazine with a pig on its cover, saying “Bon Appetit” last year. Practicing Muslims do not eat pork.
Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, tweeted his condolences and attended the vigil held at the mosque on Monday night. Later, he made a statement on his official site, “It is heart-wrenching to see such senseless violence. Diversity is our strength, and religious tolerance is a value that we, as Canadians, hold dear. Muslim-Canadians are an important part of our national fabric, and these senseless acts have no place in our communities, cities and country. Canadian law enforcement agencies will protect the rights of all Canadians, and will make every effort to apprehend the perpetrators of this act and all acts of intolerance.”