I believe that I need to write this entry to clarify the record given that FOX News and other like minded news outlets in the USA including the White House are spreading #Fakenews on what actually happened in Quebec City last night at the Islamic Centre and Mosque.
It is important to set context in what actually happened last night. The City of Quebec is very old in terms of North American settlement, founded in 1608 and was the Capital of the French Empire in North America until 1763. It then became the Capital of British North America until we responsible government was established in 1867 in Canada and the new Capital became Ottawa.
Quebec City is a small town, a big village, every one knows everybody, its gossipy, it is also fairly conservative in terms of politics. There are the old families and the others, there is a divide between the Upper Town and Lower Town. My family lived in Quebec City in Sainte-Foy and then Sillery in the 1960’s I have a lot of relatives there since 1662 when my family first arrived in Canada.
Immigrants to Quebec City, they have been there since day one, nothing new. I remember when I was 6 years old that our family pharmacist was a Syrian Refugee that was in 1962, JFK was President then. Jews in Quebec City they go back to the French Colonial days of the 18th century, blacks also most came from France. Though Quebec or New France was suppose to be a Roman Catholic enclave of the French Colonial Empire, there were plenty of Protestants or Huguenots fleeing the wars of religion in Europe. There were also back then 10 men for each women, need I say more…
So the presence of a diverse population and a multiplicity of religions and culture is nothing new. In the last 50 years the Provincial Government of Quebec has recruited almost exclusively immigrants from French Speaking Arabic mostly Muslim countries, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and in Africa mostly from the former French Colonial Colonies, like Cote D’Ivoire, Sénégal, Cameroun, Benin etc…
So yes there are lots of Muslims in Quebec who happen to speak French and are usually well educated. Unfortunately and this is the very sad part, for the last 50 years we have had a lot of xenophobia and racism fostered by politicians on a nativist and populist line to gather votes and money, they will stoke fear of the other. The political line is about race, language and pure French ethnic stock not tainted by inter-marriage with none French ethnic background. Several commentators on the radio in Quebec City are also making a career by offering daily hateful diatribes against anyone who is not #purelaine. We also had a former Prime Minister Steven Harper who loved to single out Arabs and Muslims for his own hate filled speeches, trying to pass himself as the Canadian Donald Trump. Strangely enough he now jet-sets with the GOP in the USA giving the sort of lectures they love.
Alexandre Bisonnette 27 years old
The events of last night at the Centre Islamique in Sainte-Foy was the work of a young man, a loner, demonstrating anti-social behaviour, who apparently according to neighbours had been bullied in school as a child, though his classmate describe him as a boor and an obnoxious twit, he has an identical twin who lives somewhere in Canada. His name is Alexandre Bisonnette, 27 years old, lived at his parents in the small village of Cap-Rouge near Quebec City. He liked hunting and had a gun collection, this element surprises me because fire arms are strictly controlled in Canada and I hope we will find out how he got his hands on an AK-47 to commit his crime, a weapon that is strictly controlled and impossible to get, unless you have links to criminal gangs. His family claim tonight that they do not understand what happened, such a nice boy. Did they not notice that he spouted alt-right opinions, that he was in love with Marie LePen of LeFront National in France, that he was trolling websites about refugees and women and that he was spewing pure hate for them.
Apparently he had wonderful parents, I strongly doubt that, if the two previous criminal cases in Canada are any proof of parents who are distant and not involved with their child until disaster strikes.
So our criminal terrorist was white, Roman Catholic, French Canadian, living in the suburbs of Quebec City. He came from a comfortable well to do family, never lacked for anything, went to good schools and was a University Student at Laval. Amongst his victims was a Professor from Laval University. Sorry White House, sorry Prez. Trump, sorry Fox News not an Arab, no Islamist here, just a plain white, christian suburbanite jerk.
Prime Minister Trudeau in the House of Commons today spoke on the events and he re-asserted that Canada remains steadfast as a diverse and multicultural country, welcoming to all and that such horrible events will not change our course as a Nation. It is just tremendously sad that this event comes just after the weekend of that Fascistic decree by the Donald, which is an assault on human dignity and decency.
Crowds on Parliament Hill in Ottawa tonight, a vigil for the victims, flags are flying at half-mast to honour them in Canada.