From his end-of-year vacation outside Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement condemning the terrorist mass shooting at a nightclub in the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul, Turkey, on 1 January 2017. At least 39 people were killed and at least 69 were injured in the attack.
The terrorist, who is still at large, was heard screaming the Arabic words “Allahu Akbar” (Allah, the God of the Muslims, is the greatest) after he entered the nightclub and started shooting indiscriminately at the patrons . The Islamic State (aka IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, Caliphate), which claimed responsibility for recent major terrorist attacks in Turkey, is the prime suspect.
The following is Trudeau’s statement (January 1, 2017):
“It is with deep sadness that I learned of the deadly terrorist attack on a nightclub in Istanbul that killed and injured innocent people celebrating the New Year and claimed the life of a Canadian citizen.
“On behalf of all Canadians, Sophie and I offer our deepest condolences to the families and friends of all of the victims of this horrible act, and we hope and pray that those injured have a rapid and complete recovery.
“We mourn with the people of Turkey today and with all countries who lost citizens in this vicious attack.
“We also grieve the senseless loss of a Canadian citizen and remain steadfast in our determination to work with allies and partners to fight terrorism and hold perpetrators to account.”
Stéphane Dion, minister of Foreign Affairs, tweeted:
“Canada condemns the terrorist attack in #Istanbul, #Turkey. We stand with the Turkish people during this difficult time.”
The federal government sticks to its policy that separates between “peaceful Islam” and Muslim terrorists who carry out attack in the name of Islam, and argues that Muslims are in fact the greatest victims of terrorism.
In an interview withMaclean’s (December 16, 2015), Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “[I’m] talking directly about the Muslim community. They [Muslims] are predominantly the greatest victims of terrorist acts around the worldat the present time. And painting ISIS and others with a broad brush that extends to all Muslims is not just ignorant, it is irresponsible.”
A year earlier Trudeau saidto a Surrey (BC) Muslim magazine that his lesson from the 9/11 terrorist attacks is that “any time such an incident does occur there has to be strong message needed to be sent to separate the muslims from the terrorist…”
Trudeau also arguedthat “Islam is not incompatible with the Western secular democracy, a free place like Canada,” emphasizing that “we need to make sure that we’re working with communities like the Muslim community for example to demonstrate that Islam is not incompatible with free and open Western societies.”
Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs, issued a statement(July 3, 2016) in which he drew a clear distinction between ISIS which “demonstrates its complete disregard for human life” and Islamwhich is “a religion of peacethat fosters the respect and promotion of human life.”
Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi is co-founder and editor of CIJnews and a senior researcher of the Middle East and radical Islam at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He is also a co-founder of the Orient Research Group Ltd.