Quebec City Shooting: Fox News Deletes False Tweet After Prime Minister Pressure

Kris Holt

In the immediate aftermath of the Quebec City shooting that left six people dead at a mosque and another 19 people wounded, it was reported that two suspects had been taken into custody.

Though police did not immediately reveal their names, media reports suggested the men were a French Canadian and a man born in Morocco. However, police confirmed on Monday that there was only one suspect, the French Canadian, and the man of Moroccan origin, Mohamed Belkhadir, had been released without charge and was actually a witness.

Soon after police clarified the French-Canadian, Alexandre Bissonnette, was the only suspect, Fox News sent out a tweet suggesting there was only one suspect -- Belkhadir. The tweet did not mention Bissonnette, a man who reportedly supports Donald Trump and the far right while holding anti-immigrant views.

Purchase said the tweet remained visible on the Fox News Twitter account hours after it was clear Bissonnette, who faces six charges of first-degree murder and five of attempted murder, was the only suspect in the Quebec City shooting, even though Fox News had corrected the story that the tweet linked to. The tweet continued to accrue retweets and likes, further spreading the incorrect information.

In the letter, Purchase requested that Fox News update or retract the tweet to accurately report that Bissonnette was the suspect and not Belkhadir.

"These tweets by Fox News dishonour the memory of the six victims and their families by spreading misinformation, playing identity politics and perpetuating fear and division within our communities. [...] We need to remain focused on keeping our communities safe and united instead of trying to build walls and scapegoat communities. To paint terrorists with a broad brush that extends to all Muslims is not just ignorant – it is irresponsible.

"If we allow individuals and organizations to succeed by scaring people, we do not actually end up any safer. [...] Fear does not make us safer. It makes us weaker. Ramping up fear and closing our borders is not a solution."

"If we allow individuals and organizations to succeed by scaring people, we do not actually end up any safer. [...] Fear does not make us safer. It makes us weaker. Ramping up fear and closing our borders is not a solution."

Three of the people who died in the Quebec City shooting will have a public funeral service in Montreal this week.

The mayor of Montreal, Denis Coderre, announced the news on Twitter.

According to the CBC, some victims were expected to have funerals overseas, although it is not yet clear where the other victims will be buried. Following the attack, the Eiffel Tower turned off its lights as a mark of respect for the victims.

Meanwhile, the Canadian Press reported that the mosque reopened Wednesday morning, three days after the Quebec City shooting. Mosque vice-president Mohamed Labidi reopened it to let the public see what the victims faced. Walls had bullet holes, and there was blood on many surfaces, including on the stairs leading to the basement.

[Featured Image by Francois Mori/AP Images]

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