Late Sunday evening, two gunmen opened fire at the Quebec City Islamic cultural center, in Quebec City, killing six people and wounding 18.
More than 50 people were gathered for worship that evening when someone entered the mosque and opened fire. An eyewitness reported to the Globe and Mail that the men shot "everything that was moving. It was someone who mastered weapons because it was calm … He killed and he killed. It was really horrible.”
In a Monday morning news conference, a Quebec City police spokeswoman stated one person was captured on the scene of the crime, while another was captured an hour later, after calling in and reporting his location. However, only one of these men is a suspect, while authorities said the other is a witness.
However, a hospital spokeswoman did report that those who died Sunday evening, ranged in age from 35 to 60 years old. Five people remain hospitalized.
This attack came just two days after U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order to temporarily ban immigrants from seven different majority-Muslim nations from entering the United States, even if they are permanent residents or university students. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau immediately responded to President Trump’s order by tweeting, “To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength. #WelcometoCanada". Canada has accepted nearly 40,000 Syrian refugees since November 2015, while Trump has now banned any Syrian refugees from coming to the U.S.—even ones who have already been vetted.
While this attack is not believed to be directly related to President Trump’s order, it fits into a greater pattern of rising Islamophobia in Western nations. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the shooting as an act of terrorism against Muslims. His statement read, “We condemn this terrorist attack on Muslims in a centre of worship and refuge. While authorities are still investigating and details continue to be confirmed, 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.”
This isn't the first hateful act targeted at the mosque. A pig's head was left there during Ramadan in June (eating pork is forbidden in Islam). According to The Guardian, an Islamophobic letter was also circulated near the mosque. No word if these acts of hate are related to the recent shootings, but nonetheless Canada has more reason than ever to band together and fight this unjust and heinous act of violence.
Canadian police stated early Monday morning that security has been increased at all mosques in the province, and that they hope to solve this crime as quickly and efficiently as possible.