(This column originally appeared in the Toronto Sun)
A deranged gunman stormed a mosque in Quebec City on Sunday, during an evening prayer service, and began firing indiscriminately at the backs of worshippers.
Six people were murdered, 17 injured, in the cowardly attack.
It was a heinous act. A hateful outburst by a despicable individual.
The man police have charged, Alexandre Bissonette, 27, is described as a shy and quiet loner, a Donald Trump supporter, and a white nationalist.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called this an act of terrorism.
The alleged shooter was quickly and unanimously condemned.
There was cross-partisan condemnation by politicians of all stripes, across the the country.
And in the darkest of moments, Canadians offered light.
From coast to coast to coast, Canadians of all backgrounds took to the streets to condemn this act of hatred, mourn the loss of innocents and commemorate the horrific tragedy.
Candlelight vigils were held in cities and towns across the country, in solidarity with the Muslim community in Sainte-Foy, Quebec.
From Halifax to Victoria, from the tens of thousands who gathered in Montreal to the dozens who braved subarctic conditions in Yellowknife and Iqaluit, Canadians stood in unity, against violence and bigotry.
Canadians opened their wallets, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to help cover funeral costs and support the families of the victims.
This was just the latest example of Canadians being, well, Canadian.
Despite the overwhelming love and support shown towards Canadians of the Muslim faith, many media elites prefer to tell a different story.
While millions of Canadians were denouncing violence against Muslims, some in the media were using the tragedy as an excuse to condemn them.
One article proclaimed that white Christians were the real terrorists. Another said Conservative MP Kellie Leitch, running for the leadership of her party, was “in the shadows of this horrific crime”.
In the face of the tragedy, media elites couldn’t resist the opportunity to lecture Canadians, play identity politics and pretend xenophobia and so-called Islamophobia are sweeping problems in Canada.
We know the opposite is true, that Canadians are compassionate and accepting.
Unfortunately, many in the media prefer to search for and even invent signs of racism.
Days before Canadians stood in freezing temperatures to show solidarity with Canadian Muslims, the CBC tried to paint us as a bunch of bigots.
On its show Marketplace, the CBC went undercover to test Canadians on whether they would be susceptible to what it deemed as racist messages.
Journalists at the government-funded broadcaster — using taxpayer resources — hired an actor to sell…(READ MORE)