New Zealand’s evil mosque attacks
The dastardly attack on two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Friday last week caused shock and revulsion around the world and was one of the worst episodes of hate crime, terrorism and mass murder witnessed in recent times. Fifty people died and another 50 were injured when Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian white supremacist and neo-Nazi, attacked two mosques in quick succession during Friday prayers.
He first attacked Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch. Up to 500 people were in the mosque when Tarrant approached it and shot indiscriminately. He killed three people near the entrance and many others inside a larger room. He also approached wounded victims and fired at them several times. Afterwards, he left the mosque and fired on people outside. The terrorist then went to his car, retrieved another weapon, returned to Al Noor mosque and killed more people
A very disturbing aspect of the attack was that the terrorist streamed it live on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. With a camera pinned to his forehead, people around the world watched as he drove to the locations and carried out the dastardly attacks. The three social media sites later scrambled to remove the videos and to prevent people from sharing them, though the terrible damage had already been done.
The attacker’s motives were variously described by Australian news media as Islamophobia, far right extremism, white supremacy and eco-fascism. Minutes before he launched the attack, the terrorist also e-mailed a “manifesto” to many people including the office of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. In it he expressed anti-immigrant sentiments, made hate speech against migrants, made white supremacist rhetoric and called for non-White immigrants to be expelled from Europe.
This Australian terrorist received some inspiration from US President Donald Trump, whom he described in the manifesto as “a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.” President Trump kind of justified the praise because when he was asked if he thought white nationalists were a growing threat around the world, he said, “I don’t really. I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems. It’s certainly a terrible thing.”
Prime Minister Ardern, who has received praise for her response to the attacks, described it as an “act of extreme and unprecedented violence” aAs he left, he killed a woman near the footpath as she pleaded for help. He shot other people in the pathway before he drove out at high speed to Linwood Islamic Centre, five kilometres away. There, he shot through the window as well as at people outside the mosque. Tarrant was later arrested by the police as he headed to the An-Nur Child Care Centre to carry out more killings.
Some of the worshippers carried out many heroic acts of bravery, including one man who attacked the terrorist with a smart card reader and smashed his car’s windscreen at Al-Noor mosque, forcing him to leave the scene and head for the second location. Tarrant killed 42 people at Al Noor mosque and another seven at Linwood while one person later died in hospital. The victims included nationals of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Jordan, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and they ranged in age from 2 to 71.