Quebec Mosque Attack: Updates

America’s Fox News has removed an incorrect tweet after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office made a formal complaint asking them to either retract the tweet or update it. Fox News had tweeted, “Suspect in Quebec mosque terror attack was of Moroccan origin, reports show.” This was on January 29, by Tuesday night around 8pm the tweet was taken down. Mohamed Belkhadir, a 29-year-old Moroccan-born engineering student, was mistaken for as a suspect by police, Belkhadir was actually trying to help the victims, and he was the one who had called 911, as it would later be confirmed. He fled when he saw someone with a gun approaching, assuming that it was the gunman, however, it was a police officer. This confusion is what led to the wrong assumptions being made, but Belkhadir does not hold it against the police. The main suspect now is Alexandre Bissonnette, a 27-year-old student at Universte Laval, who is described as introverted, a Trump supporter, and a high school friend described him as “… Not overly racist or Islamphobic, but had borderline misogynist, Islamphobic viewpoints … Unfortunately, that’s become more or less acceptable these days”

Alexandre Bissonette is charged with six counts of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder.

Canadians have come together to show their support. In a time when the world is constantly looking for someone or something to blame, the media has to be extra careful not to allow incorrect information to make its ways onto the air. Fox News clearly did not want the attack to be depicted as something that had anything to do with Trump, thus being able to tie it to a Middle Eastern person would have helped their own agenda. In the letter that was sent to Fox News, Kate Purchase, Trudeau’s Director of Communications, wrote: “Canada is an open, welcoming country that stands by its citizens … We are a nation of millions of immigrants and refugees, of hundreds of cultures, languages, and religions bound by one, unwavering, unshakable belief: we are stronger not in spite of our differences, but because of them… These tweets by Fox News dishonour the memory of the six victims and their families by spreading misinformation, playing identity politics, and perpetuating fear and division within our communities… Muslims are predominantly the greatest victims of terrorist acts around the world. To paint terrorists with a broad brush that extends to all Muslims is not just ignorant — it is irresponsible.” By Rhea Braganza

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