Quebec mosque attack was murder and hate in a house of God

National Post, 31 January 2017

The killing of Muslims is driven by hatred for them, but the killing in the mosque of men at prayer is something more, something worse

Is it worse because the massacre was at a mosque? If an assassin had sprayed bullets into a crowd of Muslims at a banquet hall, or shopping centre, would not it have been just as reprehensible? If the university professor had been killed in class, or the dépanneur proprietor at his halal corner store, would it not have been as devastating?

Surely yes, yet we feel it more intensely because it was at a mosque, and not just for those of us who spend plenty of time in houses of worship. Somehow it does make it worse.

Canada’s recent experience with terrorism has introduced us to that something else, that something worse. There were the Toronto 18, plotting to attack federal institutions and capture and kill the prime minister. There was Corporal Nathan Cirillo, killed at the cenotaph while standing on guard over the tomb of the unknown soldier. His killer then raced into Parliament, finally taken down in the Hall of Honour by the mace-bearer, an officer of the House of Commons. Now a mosque, with pious Muslims at prayer.

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