Should Quebec City mosque killer Alexandre Bissonnette have been charged with terrorism?

By Graeme Hamilton
National Post | April 17, 2018

MONTREAL – It was a carefully planned assault on a Muslim place of worship triggered — the attacker acknowledged to police — by news that Canada was prepared to accept more refugees from Muslim countries.

Evidence drawn from the assailant’s computer revealed his keen interest in right-wing commentators and conspiracy theorists and an apparent obsession with white-supremacist mass murderer Dylann Roof.

As evidence of what motivated Alexandre Bissonnette to open fire inside a Quebec City mosque on Jan. 29, 2017, killing six men, emerges at his sentencing hearing, questions are being raised about why he never faced terrorism charges.

The National Council of Canadian Muslims, though relieved Bissonnette pleaded guilty last month to six counts of first-degree murder and six of attempted murder, worries about a double standard when it comes to terrorism charges.

“The NCCM does have continuing concerns around the way in which that terrorism label is unfortunately often reserved for crimes committed by Muslims or by people of colour and by other visible minorities,” said Leila Nasr, the organization’s communications coordinator.

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