A shooting at a mosque in Quebec, Canada on Sunday night left six people dead and eight others injured. Following the shooting, many politicians and media outlets were quick to link the incident to Islam, noting falsely that the gunman was of Moroccan origin.
However, on Monday, the suspect in the shooting was identified as Alexandre Bissonnette, a 27-year-old white French Canadian nationalist, who was described in a local outlet as “an anti-immigrant far-right ‘troll.'”
"A 27 year-old white French Canadian."
However this is how Fox News reported on the shooting initially.
Now to be fair there is always a lot of initial confusion during shootings and often there are reports of multiple shooters when it usually turns out to be only one.Suspect in Quebec mosque terror attack was of Moroccan origin, reports show https://t.co/oRzxGHEXDm pic.twitter.com/aEsEtccMvi— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 30, 2017
In this case there was a Moroccan man detained as well, but he turned out to be a witness, not a gunman.
However Fox jumped to the conclusion IMMEDIATELY that the Moroccan guy was the shooter and seemed to completely ignore the white guy in custody.
And they were not the only ones to assume the shooter was an immigrant with ties to Islam.
Courtesy of Mother Jones:
Meanwhile, White House press secretary Sean Spicer offered an eyebrow-raising take on the attack, seeming to cite it as further justification for President Trump's crackdown on refugees and immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries. Spicer first noted that in a call on Monday with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Trump had agreed that the motive remained unclear, and had condemned the attack "in the strongest possible terms." But then Spicer continued with this statement: "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."
As it turned out the actual shooter was exactly the kind of guy that Fox News and the White House hoped he would not be.
Courtesy of Heavy:
But another former classmate, Jean-Michel Allard-Prus, who studied politics with him, at Université Laval and has kept in touch with him, told Le Journal de Quebec that Bissonnette, “has right-wing political ideas, pro-Israel, anti-immigration. I had many debates with him about Trump. He was obviously pro-Trump.”
And a third university classmate, Vincent Boissoneault, who grew up with Bissonnette, was friends with him on Facebook, told the Globe and Mail, “I can tell you he was certainly no Muslim convert. I wrote him off as a xenophobe. I didn’t even think of him as totally racist, but he was enthralled by a borderline racist nationalist movement.”
Acquaintances said he became interested in the far right movement when Marine Le Pen, the leader of the far-right National Front in France, spoke in Quebec City in March 2016, the Globe and Mail reports. He began speaking out about politics on Facebook and became estranged from some friends, according to the newspaper.
Yeah you can certainly see why they were hoping it was the Moroccan dude.
Kind of hard to sell the idea that you are keeping your country safe by banning Muslims with some white guy up north shooting holes in them.
And no wonder Donald Trump identifies Fox News as the only reliable media outlet. Their prejudices line up quite neatly.