Quebec Mosque Attack Forces Canadians to Confront a Strain of Intolerance

Source: The New York Times

QUEBEC — In a world often hostile to migration, Canada has stood out, welcoming thousands of refugees fleeing war and seeking a haven. It has been a feel-good time for Canada, proud of its national tolerance.

On Sunday, that was upended when a man walked into a mosque and started shooting, killing six people and wounding eight. The man accused of being the gunman, Alexandre Bissonnette, was charged with six counts of murder on Monday.

The nation quickly rallied after the attack. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called it an act of terrorism, and there was a collective outpouring of remorse and empathy. But the attack also forced Canadians to confront a growing intolerance and extremism that has taken root particularly among some people in this French-speaking corner of the country.

It was also a wrenching event for a country not accustomed to mass killings and even less used to the acrimonious immigration debate that has echoed from across the United States. Before Sunday, many Canadians were watching the immigration ban there with fascination and, for the most part, disgust.

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