Justin Trudeau PMO Slams Fox News Over False Tweet On Quebec Mosque Shooting
On Tuesday, Kate Purchase, Justin Trudeau's director of communications, shared on Twitter that she was requesting the removal of Fox News's false tweet about the identity of the Quebec mosque shooter.
The news outlet posted a tweet to its more than 13 million followers that featured an image of the Canadian prime minister. The tweet said that the Quebec mosque attack was done by a person "of Moroccan origin." The Trudeau photo was also accompanied by a quote that said: "We condemn this terrorist attack on Muslims in a center of worship and refuge."
Why Canada Reacted To The Fox News Tweet
The Fox News tweet said that the "suspect in Quebec mosque terror attack was of Moroccan origin." The tweet was posted on Monday and was still there by Tuesday evening, but the network has taken it down after Purchase's message that asked for a retraction.
Purchase said that the tweet "dishonors the memory of the six victims and their families by spreading misinformation, playing identity politics, and perpetuating fear and division within our communities."
The Fox News tweet emphasized the fact that the suspect was of Moroccan origin. Morocco is a Muslim country. The tweet from Fox echoed President Donald Trump's false rhetoric that terrorists come from Muslim nations.
— Kate Purchase (@katepurchase) January 31, 2017
Refet Kaplan, Fox News managing director, sent out a statement that Fox News has "corrected the misreported information with a tweet and an update to the story on Monday. The earlier tweets have now been deleted. We regret the error."
Identity Of Quebec Mosque Shooting Suspect
Early reports about the Quebec mosque shooting that killed six people and left many wounded said that two men were arrested, one of whom was of Moroccan origin.
The suspect behind the shooting was Alexandre Bissonnette, 27, a French Canadian reported to have "extreme nationalist views." He was reportedly a fan of right-wing leader Marine Le Pen and U.S. President Donald Trump.
The second man who was mistaken as a suspect was Mohamed Belkhadir, a Canadian of Moroccan descent. It was later reported that he was praying at the mosque when the shooting happened and was trying to save a victim's life when he was arrested by police.
Belkhadir called 911 after he heard gunshots and tried to flee from the scene when he saw someone approach with a firearm. Belkhadir said he thought it was the shooter when in fact it was a police officer. He was later on released without a charge.