Only a day after Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared with much bravado that his country is open and ready to welcome immigrants and refugees "rejected" by the U.S. following Trump's executive order temporarily halting entry of citizens from seven Muslim nations to the U.S., a Quebec City mosque was hit by a terrorist attack earlier today, killing five people and injuring others.
Dozens of Muslims were gathered for Sunday evening prayers at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre at the Ste-Foy neighborhood when two gunmen stormed the venue and opened fire. The centre's president said that five people were killed from the attack, but the local police have yet to provide official numbers for the dead and injured.
Two suspects have been arrested, but local police insist the investigation is still ongoing. Local newspaper Le Soleil said that it had gathered information that one of the suspects was a 27-year old with a "Quebec name", and that the other had in his possession an AK-47 automatic weapon.
Another anonymous witness told Radio Canada that the gunmen wore masks, and that they were screaming "Allahu akbar!" as they fired shots. The bullets hit people who were praying, the same witness shared.
The injured have been brought to hospitals, while there is no official word yet on their count and their conditions.
Mohamed Yangui, president of the Quebec City Islamic Cultural Centre, expressed shock over the incident. He asked, "why is this happening?", and called the attack " barbaric". Phillipe Couillard, the premier of Quebec, said he categorically rejected "this barbaric violence" while conveying his solidarity with Muslims in Quebec.
Trudeau said in a Twitter message that Canadians are grieving with those killed in the cowardly attack and that his thoughts were with the victims and their families.
The attack, condemnable in every way, is also a shocking but revealing slap to Canada anew on the clear and present threats of terrorism, and the dangers of unrestricted immigration and refugee policy. Perhaps rather than swiftly condemning the recent immigration and refugee policy move of its neighbor and supposed good friend, the U.S., Canada based from its own painful experience with acts of terrorism, will be more understanding and supportive of the U.S.