Canada is not immune to terror attacks—a point that hit home so graphically over two days in October, 2014 when Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent was killed in Saint Jean sur Richelieu, Que. after being deliberately run down by a vehicle and then Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was fatally shot while on ceremonial sentry duty at the National War Memorial in Ottawa.
The country is in mourning again following Sunday night's senseless shooting that left six men dead and 19 others injured as they worshipped at their mosque in Quebec City.
What makes this attack so blatantly different is that it was directed at the Muslim community and perpetrated by a 27-year-old Quebec man who could be described as an “average” Canadian.
But Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard both were quick to label the shootings a “terrorist attack”—and rightly so. The gunman's actions were directed at a specific group of people and designed to instill fear; no different than if someone of a Muslim background had walked into a Catholic church during Mass and started shooting indiscriminately.
Whether committed by someone “radicalized” to wage jihad against the West, or a person brainwashed by the so-called Alt-Right movement to set their sights on immigrants, these attacks all constitute direct threats to the very fabric of our nation.
A backlash against immigrants has been simmering in Canada for some time—evidenced by the former Parti Quebecois government proposing a Quebec Charter of Values back in 2013 and current Tory leadership candidate Kellie Leitch calling for immigrants to be screened for so-called “Canadian values.”
Has it begun to boil over because there now are those willing to take matters into their own hands?
As Canadians, we must be vigilant in thwarting “terrorist attacks” no matter their origin or purpose.