Arizona Coyotes forward Max Domi said Canada needs to more closely examine who it allows to immigrate following a terror attack by a Somali refugee in Edmonton on Saturday.
Domi, who was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and grew up in the Toronto area, tweeted Sunday that the attack serves as a reminder of why Canadians need to be more “aware” of who is let into the country.
“Really hope everyone in Edmonton is ok,” Domi said. “We’re behind you. This is why we have to be aware of some of the people we let into our country.”
Domi posted his tweet the day after Abdulahi Hasan Sharif was arrested after going on a rampage in downtown Edmonton. The 30-year-old Somali refugee allegedly plowed his car into police crowd-control barricade near the city’s football stadium, knocking a police officer to the ground. Sharif then got out of the car and proceeded to stab the officer repeatedly, according to investigators.
Sharif fled the scene on foot and was later arrested after ramming a different vehicle into a group of pedestrians during a police chase. Officers discovered an Islamic State flag in the car that stuck the police officer, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described the incident as a terror attack, reports Fox News.
Trudeau has portrayed Canada as a welcoming country for immigrants and refugees, contrasting his policies with the Trump administration’s travel ban and tougher immigration enforcement. As the U.S. has reduced its intake of refugees and tightened rules on asylum claims, thousands of Somali immigrants have illegally crossed the border into Canada to apply for asylum.
Edmonton police have not disclosed when Sharif arrived in Canada, but officials said he was investigated in 2015 for allegedly espousing extremism. Sharif was not arrested at that time due to insufficient evidence, reports CBC News.
Domi’s tweet about being being aware of who immigrates to Canada drew outrage from some Twitter users, who accused the NHL player of racism. Others claimed that white men were a far bigger threat to Canada than refugees.
Domi responded to critics Sunday night, tweeting that he was not trying to single out any race or religion, just “bad people” that could come to Canada to commit attacks.
“I was not disrespecting any race or religion,” he said. “I’m talking about the bad people that can come over here and harm our country.
“Do you care if anyone comes into our country and causes harm to our friends and family,” Domi added. “Seriously. Let’s have a conversation about this.”
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