On the 15th March the world was shocked when Brandon Tarrant walked into the el Noor Mosque in the New Zealand city of Christchurch with a semi-automatic rifle and killed 41 people. He then went to another mosque and killed seven more. (1) Others were wounded and another two died shortly after. There were three or four children among the 50 victims, most of whom were males although there were a few women killed. (2)

            Tarrant, who was born in Grafton, Australia, made a video of the massacre as he carried it out and this was live streamed to the Internet and for a short time was available on Facebook. By the time it was taken down by Facebook it had been replicated and probably can be still found somewhere in the nether regions of the Internet as no doubt can his 74 page manifesto “The Great Replacement”. (3)

            Tarrant was arrested shortly after the massacre and is said to have given a “white power” gesture when charged. His charges include 50 counts of murder and 39 of attempted murder. (4)

            The media, including the Australian newspapers, gave an incredible amount of space to this incident including showing us the face of a three-year-old boy killed in the massacre. (5)

            The government of New Zealand went a bit hysterical, as did ours for that matter. The New Zealand prime minister, Jacinta Arden promised changes to their gun laws that would ban semi-automatic weapons. (6) Tarrant’s video of the massacre was banned in New Zealand and two people, an 18-year-old and Philip Arps, a business man, were arrested for redistributing the video. They were, unbelievably, denied bail. Four others also faced court over the video. (7) New Zealand’s “chief censor”, David Shank ordered all those who had Tarrant’s manifesto to destroy it and threatened to send anyone caught with the manifesto on their computer to jail for ten years. (8)

            In Britain, the Greater Manchester Police received 11 reports of offensive behaviour related to the attack, most of them online. Seven people were arrested on charges such as “racially-aggravated” public order offences and in one case a taxi driver was abused. (9)

            Similar authoritarianism was shown by the Australian government. The United Nationalist Australia website was taken down and one of its editors arrested although the arrest may have been to do with a matter other than the massacre. (10)

            Scott Morrison intends to bring in laws that could see Internet media companies face huge fines and the bosses of these companies jailed if they don’t take down violent material. (11)

            It appears that “far right hate groups” were already under the microscope in Australia. The Bias Crimes Unit (also referred to as the Hate Crimes Unit) had 45 incidents reported to it that involved far right groups and 34 incidents where an Islamic religious site or community was targeted by extremists. (12)

            The outrage over the attack seems more than a little selective. About two weeks after the Christchurch massacre 134 people were killed by Jihadists in the West African nation of Mali. The Sydney Morning Herald devoted a pathetic two paragraphs to this incident. (13)

            In fact worldwide most terrorist attacks are carried out by Muslims. This includes the 30 million or more Muslims who live in western countries like France. In that country, starting with the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January 2015 and other attacks up to and including the attack in Strasbourg in December 2018, a total of 261 were killed in France. This means that an average of 66 people are year were killed and that Frenchmen are ten times more likely to be killed by a Muslim than a Muslim is likely to be killed anywhere in the world by a non-Muslim. Christians in the Muslim world are even worse affected with about 4,300 having been murdered for their faith by Muslims in 2018 alone. (14)

            Was Tarrant influenced by the events in France and other parts of Europe? He had the name of a young female victim of a terrorist attack in Sweden written on his rifle. He also seems to have been influenced by the Anders Breivik who carried out a massacre in Norway. Breivik like Tarrant is referred to as a “white nationalist” although Breivik’s victims were mostly young white people. (15) Tarrant’s manifesto only refers to “Australia” or “Australian” 11 times but “Europe” and “European” get mentioned 102 times. He makes no mention of Pauline Hanson, Fraser Anning or Operation Sovereign Borders which is supposed to stop illegals entering Australia. In fact in the three years before the attack Tarrant spent only 45 days in Australia. He seems to have had no association with nationalist or patriotic groups in this country. (16)

            What to make of the whole affair and the person who carried it out? 

            Tarrant would appear to be something of an egotist, videoing himself and the attack, and then streaming it online indicates he wanted to be famous and seen all around the world. The fact that he killed so many unarmed people including children could indicate psychopathic tendencies. His ideology, judging from his manifesto is a bit of a mish-mash. He rejects conservatism but admires people like the British Fascist Oswald Mosley. He even admires the government of communist China. He calls himself an “eco-fascist” and seems to have objected to Muslim immigration, at least in part over concerns about overpopulation. (17)

            The one sensible outcome is that New Zealand is banning the sort of weapon that was used to carry out the attack.  The Prime Minister Jacinta Arden, or policewomen and schoolchildren wearing hijabs just looks a bit silly. (18) Repressive actions that act as a gag on free speech however are not that sensible and it’s hard to see how they can make things safer. The people of New Zealand will suffer more restrictions on their rights and freedoms. Terrorists and extremists in the Third World will no doubt continue to slaughter people as before. And it is probably only a matter of time before another Muslim terrorist attack occurs in a Western nation, maybe this time it will be New Zealand.

(1) Charles Miranda, “My Brave Little Boy’s Dead”, Sunday Telegraph, 17 March 2019

(2) Benjamin Millar, “Victims from All Walks of Life and Corners of Globe”, Sydney Morning Herald, 18 March 2019

(3) Cindy Wockner, “Aussie’s Evil Killing Spree”; Justin Lees, “Shooter’s Warped Race Hate Ranting”, Daily Telegraph, 16 March 2019

(4) “50 Counts of Murder”, Herald Sun, 5 April 2019

(5) Sunday Telegraph, 17 March 2019    

(6) Ean Higgins, “Never Again: NZ Bans Semi-automatics”, The Australian, 22 March 2019

(7) “Massacre Vid Charge”, Daily Telegraph, 16 April 2019

(8) Guy Milliere, “Christchurch Murders: The Real Accomplices” 2 April 2019               

(9) “Seven Arrested for Hate Crimes after New Zealand Mosque Shootings”, 19 March 2019

(10) M. Benns & M. Morri, “Cops Ramp Up War on Extremists” Daily Telegraph, 23 March 2019

(11) Anna Caldwell, “Errant Tech Titans’ Multi-Billion Hit”, Daily Telegraph, 30 March 2019            

(12) M. Benns and M. Morri, “Extreme Danger Stalks Suburbs”, Daily Telegraph, 23 March 2019

(13) “Jihadists Kill Herders”, Sydney Morning Herald, 25 March 2019

(14) Srdja Trifkovic, “New Zealand Attacks: Repercussions and Perspective”, Chronicles, 15 March 2019

(16) Paul Maley, “Born Here, but Bigot’s Beliefs Bred in Europe”, The Australian, 19 March 2019

(17) John Hinderaker, “Observations on Christchurch”, 16 March 2019

(18) Sunday Telegraph, 17 March 2019; The Australian, 22 March 2019

(ANI 88 Autumn 2019)

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