Bloc Québécois website hacked, replaced with Islamist message
Website taken over briefly by organization calling itself the United Islamic Cyber Force
The website of the Bloc Québécois party was hacked sometime Monday morning by a group calling itself the United Islamic Cyber Force, in apparent retaliation for the Bloc's stance on the wearing of Muslim head coverings.
Instead of the party's usual page, readers were greeted with a black page and red lettering across the centre with the group's name and a prophecy, or hadith, that describes Islam conquering various lands to bring about the Day of Judgment.
A spokesperson for the Bloc also says the party received no warning or reason for why it may have been targeted.
The Bloc also says the party has notified the "appropriate authorities" and it is working to regain control of the page. Shortly after midday, the black and red screen was replaced by a simple message in French that said the site was under construction.
Several other sites that were hosted by the same server as the Bloc's were also targeted, including the website for a campsite.
But the Albanian-based group said it was targeting the separatist party, The Canadian Press reported.
In an email exchange with The Canadian Press, a spokesman wrote the cyber attack was carried out "simply because they lacked respect towards women who wear the hijab."
The group maintained that everyone has the right to wear whatever they want.
Asked why the Bloc Quebecois and no other federal parties were victims of the attack, The Canadian Press said the spokesman replied the group wanted "to expel politicians and others on the Internet who detested Islam."
Last week, the Bloc courted controversy when it sent out a tweet criticizing the NDP for supporting the right of Muslim women to wear the niqab during citizenship ceremonies, following a court decision to allow it.
While the hacker group's email refers to the hijab, which covers the head, the judge actually ruled in favour of the niqab, which hides the face.
In an image accompanying its tweet, the Bloc shows the inside of the House of Commons through cut-out eye-holes, presumably to represent someone looking through a niqab.
It then asks if people will have to cover their faces to vote for the NDP.
A Bloc spokesman told The Canadian Press no personal data was compromised during the hack.
United Islamic Cyber Force claimed credit this past January when a number of France-based websites found themselves under similar attacks after having, according to the hackers, insulted Islam.
The pages in question had indicated support for Charlie Hebdo after the deadly attack on its office in Paris.
with files from The Canadian Press