It has now been four days since the tragic shooting in Quebec, and yet an alarming number of people still think the shooter was a Moroccan Muslim who screamed ‘Allahu Akbhar’ before slaughtering six muslims in a Canadian mosque. Don’t believe me, Google ‘Allahu Akbhar’ and then we can reconvene. This is quite simply a catastrophe, a despicable representation of the filth we now call news. A disgusting example of how people who are viewed as credible will use any tragedy to fuel their political narrative, even if it means spewing inaccurate and despicable lies that make a mockery of the tragedy.
Almost immediately after the tragedy, various news outlets and political figures depicted the shooter as Muslim, because… you know, only a Muslim could commit such an atrocity, right? Now while Fox News have deleted their original tweet, just a short 36 hours after the real identity of the shooter was released, the damage was already done, millions of lazy conservatives circulated this fallacious statement. And of course, the Secretary of Alternate Facts himself, Sean Spicer, was quick to justify his title as he exploited the attack to justify President Trump’s ban on immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries stating, “It’s a terrible reminder of why we must remain vigilant and why the president is taking steps to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to our nation’s safety and security.”
Yeah, a Canadian white nationalist killed six Muslims while they prayed, so we need to ban Muslims from coming to the US. Makes sense mate.
Authorities have identified the shooter as 27-year-old Alexandre Bissonnette, a white French Canadian who has now been identified as a rabid anti-immigrant nationalist and avid Trump supporter. And yet, the orange one has not addressed this mass shooting during one of his 23 hours a day spent tweeting. But then again it would mean taking a moment away from questioning Chuck Schumer’s “acting,” or feuding with Alec Baldwin or any other empty agenda he uses his shrunken fingers to type about.
This was, after all, the single deadliest incident in North America since Trump’s inauguration, but neither Trump, right wingers, or better yet the rest of the world have addressed it. So it poses the question, does the shooter have to be Muslim before our commander in chief addresses it? Does the shooter have to be Muslim for us to change all our profile pictures to the Canadian flag? Does the shooter have to be muslim for us to call it an act of terrorism?
The answer is yes. Yes, it does have to be a Muslim shooter for this to happen. As fellow Young Turks correspondent Shaun King put it perfectly, had this shooter been a Muslim, who killed white Christians, tens of millions of people all over the world would’ve been sharing their outrage, praying, grieving, offering strength to the victims families. The coverage would be non-stop. But President Trump and fellow right wing conservatives do not care because this attack goes against the dominant narrative of Muslims as the vile, despicable terrorists who target innocent white Christians. So when it’s a white nationalist who commits an atrocity, there’s no political incentive for them in publicizing THAT kind of attack. I mean, they would never suggest we should ban white nationalists, would they? Despite a lengthy history of past atrocities demonstrating white nationalists’ willingness to carry out attacks on innocent civilians, no white nationalist ever yelled ‘Allahu Akbhar’ so it never counted as terrorism. It is sickening, and we sit here wondering how such a ban can be imposed on a group of people based on their religious beliefs, when the answer is right in front of us.
But let me end with this. Muslims are the the most frequent victims of Islamic extremism. According to the U.S. State Department, in 2015 alone, almost 7,000 people in Iraq were killed and 12,000 more injured, a number that grows every year, and this is just one Muslim-majority country. But when it doesn’t fit the mainstream narrative we ignore or otherwise downplay attacks targeting muslims, adding insult to their already far too often, injury.