Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard is defending his recent comments about Muslims having a responsibility in the fight against terrorism.

Following the arrest of a Muslim Montrealer in the stabbing of a police officer at the Flint airport in Michigan last week, Couillard said terrorist events like this can't be disconnected from Islam in general.

The premier reiterated his comments following a news conference in Quebec City yesterday, saying no religion can disassociate itself from acts of violence perpetrated in its name.

His initial remarks drew the ire of Quebec's main women's group, which said Couillard's tone had shifted since January's attack on a mosque in Quebec City that claimed six lives.

Couillard brushed aside that criticism, saying his political approach has long been one of inclusion and tolerance.