Critics are decrying a "double standard" in Canadian legislation after Crown prosecutors failed to charge a man accused of a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque with terrorism-related offences. They say that the absence of terrorism charges against Alexandre Bissonnette demonstrates that it's time to make changes to the criminal code. “If Mohamed, a Muslim, would go see the Islamic State website twice, boom, he will be accused of terrorism, whereas Bissonnette, since the link (to terrorism) is less evident, we don’t do it,” said Stéphane Leman-Langois, criminology professor at Université Laval and a specialist in terrorism, in an interview on Wednesday. “The problem is justice is not just a sentence for one person…. Whether (justice) wants to send a message or no, it’s still a message that if you are Muslim, you are more likely to be treated as a terrorist than if you’re not.”
Six people were killed and five wounded in the deadly attack at the Quebec City mosque on Jan. 29, 2017. After the attack, several politicians, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, described the massacre as a “terror attack.” But on Monday, the Crown declined to include any terrorism-related offences in its list of charges against Bissonnette.