‘Muslim ban’ will prevent attacks on Muslims, Trump’s press secretary hints

Published January 31st, 2017 - 01:45 GMT
"It's a terrible reminder of why we must remain vigilant" Spicer speaks at Monday's press briefing (Nicholas Kamm/AFP)
"It's a terrible reminder of why we must remain vigilant" Spicer speaks at Monday's press briefing (Nicholas Kamm/AFP)

Donald Trump’s press secretary has suggested that the Quebec mosque attack provides justification for the new American president’s so-called Muslim ban.

On Friday Trump signed a controversial executive order suspending visas for nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries, which has been labeled discriminatory and unjust.

The White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Monday told reporters that the shootings, which saw six Muslims killed in Canada over the weekend, were evidence for the need of such measures.

"It's a terrible reminder of why we must remain vigilant and why the president is taking steps to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to our nation's safety and security," he said in a statement.

It is not clear why Spicer felt that banning individuals from Arab countries with high percentages of Muslims would prevent similar attacks on mosques. The victims of the incident were reportedly from Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria, Muslim-majority nations like those targeted by the ban. The main suspect, Alexandre Bissonnette, is a Canadian who reportedly has links to far-right groups. 

Bissonnette’s motivation for the attack, which also seriously wounded two other mosque-goers, is not yet clear. However, in unprecedented comments, the Canadian Prime Minister has called the incident “a terrorist attack on Muslims".

There have been a rise in Islamophobic attacks in America since Trump’s election in November, and it would not be surprising if this was an example of that trend spilling over the border. In the most recent incident, a mosque in Victoria, Texas was burnt to the ground on Friday.

Many have taken to social media to express their disbelief at Spicer’s surprising suggestion:


The President's Press Secretary has previously raised eyebrows with his exaggerated comments about the size of the crowds at Trump’s inauguration on January 20.


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