Jesus Wept: Terrorism in Christchurch

The third largest city in New Zealand has come under terrorist attack by extremists who targeted at least two mosques in the city of Christchurch.

Reports of at least 40 people murdered with dozens more injured have sent ripples across the world. Such was the severity of the incident that immediately afterwards put the city in a lockdown as the police authorities sought to protect life.

“What has happened in Christchurch is an extraordinary act of unprecedented violence. It has no place in New Zealand. Many of those affected will be members of our immigrant communities – New Zealand is their home – they are us,” said Jacinda Arden, the Prime Minister of New Zealand in one of two tweets on the incident.

Solidarity has started pouring in from around the world with leaders, citizens, and communities sharing common human decency. However, before the blood of murdered victims has even dried, Australian Senator Fraser Anning released a statement in which he blamed Muslims for the murders in Christchurch.

“The real cause of bloodshed on New Zeeland today is the immigration program which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place… Let us be clear, while Muslims may have been the victims today, usually they are the perpetrators… The entire religion of Islam is simply the violent ideology of a sixth century despot masquerading as a religious leader, which justifies endless war against anyone who opposes it and calls for the murder or unbelievers and apostates.” – The senator ends his vitriol with a quote from the New Testament in the Bible.

Contextualizing the growth of far-right extremism being normalized by the Senator, the Prime Minister of Pakistan shared two tweets. In the first he writes, “Shocked and strongly condemn the Christchurch, New Zealand, terrorist attack on mosques. This reaffirms what we have always maintained: that terrorism does not have a religion. Prayers go to the victims and their families.”

But it is the second tweet which strikes a chord with every Muslim, “I blame these increasing terror attacks on the current Islamophobia post-9/11 where Islam & 1.3 bn Muslims have collectively been blamed for any act of terror by a Muslim. This has been done deliberately to also demonize legitimate Muslim political struggles.”

This trend and its implications is obvious to many.

On-line commentator Otto English observed, “What occurred in New Zealand happens when you debase an entire faith or race and dehumanize ordinary people for simply going about their lives. Innocents mown down by fanatics but inspired by the rhetoric of racists, politicians, American Presidents – “Tommy Robinson” and friends.”

The Telegraph newspaper in the United Kingdom is reporting that one of the terrorists, 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant, who describes himself as an ‘ordinary white man’ from a ‘working class, low income family,’ posted a 73-page manifesto and was inspired by Norwegian murderer Anders Brievik, “I have read the writings of Dylann Roof and many others, but only really took true inspiration from Knight Justiciar Breivik,” he wrote.

Tarrant’s vision, as reported by News.com.au for the attack was to try and ‘directly reduce immigration rates to European lands,’ and to ‘show the invaders that our lands will never be their lands, our homelands are our own and that, as long as a white man still lives, they will NEVER conquer our lands and they will never replace our people.’

The irony of his remarks are lost to a man whose nation, New Zealand, was colonised at the expense of the native residents of ‘his’ land, the Maori people who arrived in the modern day nation in the 13th century, with European colonisers arriving in the 17th.

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About Farrukh Younus
Farrukh I Younus has a background in mobile phone strategy across Europe and Asia, and has visited China on more than 25 occasions. Dedicated to understanding and delivering solutions based on new technology, Younus has spoken on the subject to the EU in Brussels, and regularly attends industry-leading conferences. He currently runs a video platform, Implausibleblog, delivering lifestyle content via social media; where his focus is on understanding consumer behaviour with regards to digital content and digital advertising. His interests include travel, nouvelle cuisine, and chocolate.