The New Zealand Mosque Terrorist Attack – Far Left or Far Right?
The Christchurch massacre was a shocking incident that occurred in New Zealand only last week. Since then, the world is still trying to overcome how traumatic and devastating the incident unfolded. The man behind this massacre is named Brenton Tarrant, an Australian citizen living in Dunedin until his alleged killing spree at two Mosques last Friday
Last Friday, the attack was unleashed at lunchtime local time Friday, when mosques were full of worshipers who were at their Friday pray. Footage of the massacre was streamed live online from the gunman, and a rambling manifesto laced with white supremacist references was published just before the shootings unfolded. Police allege that the gunman traveled between the Al-Noor Mosque in Central Christchurch and Linwood Mosque which is about 5km’s in distance within seven minutes for his second attack. A total of 50 people was confirmed dead. Health officials say 39 people remain in hospital, with 11 critical in intensive care. The youngest victim is two. One child, aged four, has been transferred to Starship children’s hospital in Auckland. To read more click here. Within six minutes, armed police staff were on the scene however, many lives were already lost. Only after 36 minutes dozens of people were dead and injured.
Authorities declined to discuss the potential motives behind the attack. But in a social media post just before the shooting began, an account believed to be linked to the gunman posted a link to an 87-page manifesto that was filled with anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim ideas and explanations for an attack. The manifesto was not signed.
THE GUN LAWS
Jacinta Ardem promises gun reform after Christchurch shooting. She says “When Australia was in a similar situation they took 12 days to make the decision, we have taken 72 hours”. National Criminal Lawyers have published a blog on the Gun Amnesty provisions – to read it, click here.
The Prime Minister has confirmed that New Zealand has agreed to reform the country’s gun laws after last Friday’s Terrorist attack which killed 50 people.
Ardern said that the “worst act of terrorism on our shores” had exposed a range of weaknesses in New Zealand’s gun laws. Speaking after her weekly cabinet meeting Monday evening local time, Ardern told reporters that ministers had agreed “in principle” to reform gun laws. “Within 10 days of this horrific act of terrorism we will have announced reforms which will, I believe, make our community safer,” she said.
THE BODIES OF THE VICTIMS
There were victims between the age of 2 and 77. In Islam the bodies of the deceased people are called for cleansing and burial within 24 hours of their death. However, in the case most bodies were not yet released to the families as they were not all identified as of yet. The Prime Minister of New Zealand says that the bodies of the 50 people killed were slowly being released to family members. Suffering family members and relatives have been anxiously waiting for the authorities to release the remaining bodies of the victims.
Police Commissioner Mike Bush says they are working as quickly as they can, but authorities have to be absolutely clear on the causes of death and confirm identities before they can release bodies
There was a fund that was set up in order to help the families of victims who were killed in the mosque attacks along with those victims who suffered and remain suffering injuries has raised over $NZ4.3 million ($4.15 million) from the community.
He is currently in gaol and soon to appear in Court on 5 April 2019. There have been ongoing discussions about whether the gunman will be deported back to Australia to serve his time in jail here and whether he will be sentenced in Australia or New Zealand. New Zealand does not want the gunman to remain in their country after causing so much damage to their community. The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern states that “he may have sought notoriety, but we in Zealand will give him nothing, not even his name. He is a terrorist, he is a criminal, he is an extremist, but he will, when I speak, be nameless. And to others, I implore you, speak the names of those who are lost, rather than the name of the man who took them”.
Some have referred Terrant a terrorist. In response to his own question, “Is there a particular person that radicalised you the most?”, Tarrant replies, “Yes, the person that has influenced me above all was Candace Owens… [a very right-wing reactionary US ‘commentator’].” He added that, “Each time she spoke I was stunned by her insights and her own views helped push me further and further into the belief of violence over meekness.” Owens made a name for herself recently when she said, “You know, he [Hitler] was a national socialist, but if Hitler just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well, OK, fine… The problem is that he wanted — he had dreams outside of Germany.” Owens has a leading position in a conservative advocacy group, Turning Point USA (TPUSA), which promotes an openly reactionary agenda.
Extremism experts and police insiders say far-right radicals pose a growing threat of violence in Australia and will become a greater focus of authorities in the wake of the Christchurch massacre.
Several respected experts said right-wing extremists in Australia were being emboldened by the tone of mainstream political discussion on issues such as immigration, race and crime. All said that far-right violence was a growing problem.