White supremacist terrorist Brenton Harrison Tarrant, 28, murdered 49 and wounded 48 using semi-automatic weapons against worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch during Friday prayer on March 15. New Zealand town Christchurch has 400.000 inhabitants among them a small Muslim community of partly Turkish heritage.
The terrorist posted on 8chan: „I will carry out and attack against the invaders, and will even livestream the attack via Facebook.“
A few minutes later, the massacre was streamed live on facebook.com/brenton.tarrant.9. A 17 minutes video of shooting terror was photographed in the visual style of a macabre video shooter game. I was shocked when a viewer commented Tarrant’s video stream „HE WAS A GOOD SHOT“ .
The stream was later removed by Facebook. „Police alerted us to a video on Facebook shortly after the livestream commenced and we quickly removed both the shooter’s Facebook and Instagram accounts and the video. We’re also removing any praise or support for the crime and the shooter or shooters as soon as we’re aware“, Facebook said.
On March 16, Tarrant was charged with murder at the Christchurch District Court. At court he was seen making the white power hand gesture in front of District Court Judge Paul Kellar.
„PewDiePie“ is the name of a white supremacist YouTube channel by Felix Kjellberg, a Swedish citizen who is a Donald Trump supporter and a symbol of renewed white identity. Not only did Tarrant mention „subscribe to PewDiePie“ when he carried out his attack. Kjellberg is very well known to flash the same hand sign as Tarrant showed at court.
Twitter handle @BrentonTarrant and online accounts linked to Tarrant circulated white supremacist imagery and extreme right-wing messages celebrating violence against Muslims and minorities.
Tweeted pictures of the guns later used in the mosque attacks showing guns covered in white lettering, featuring the names of others who had committed race- or religion-based killings; Cyrillic, Armenian and Georgian references to historical figures and events; and the phrase: „Here’s Your Migration Compact“. The number „14“ was written on the side of the rifle as well, a reference to the „fourteen words“, a white supremacist mantra. Tarrant wrote on his arms and munitions:
- „Alexandre Bissonnette“ who did the Quebec City mosque massacre
- „Luca Traini“ who committed the Macerata attack
- „Sebastiano Venier“, commander of the Venetian contingent at the Battle of Lepanto in which the „Christian League“ decisively defeated the Turks
- „Novak Vujošević“ who was murdering 28 Ottoman soldiers in the Battle of Fundina (Montenegro)
- „Vienna 1683“, the year when the Battle of Vienna took place after the imperial city had been besieged by the Ottoman Empire
- „Милош Обилић“, the assassin of the Ottoman sultan Murad I.
„Twitter has rigorous processes and a dedicated team in place for managing exigent and emergency situations such as this,“ Twitter said. Footage of the massacre was also uploaded on YouTube. „Please know we are working vigilantly to remove any violent footage“, YouTube said in a statement.
In his manifesto „The Great Replacement“, 75 pages, published on 14 March 2019, Tarrant writes about the German chancellor: „Merkel, the mother of all things anti-white and anti-germanic, is top of the list. Few have done more to damage and racially cleanse Europe of its people.“
Tarrant smears the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in his manifesto: „Erdogan, the leader of one of the oldest enemies of our people, and the leader of the largest islamic group within Europe. This warlord must bleed his last, whilst he visits his ethnic soldiers currently occupying Europe. His death will also drive a wedge between the Turk invaders currently occupying our lands and the ethnic European people whilst simultaneously weakening Turkeys hold on the region, removing a prime enemy of Russia and destabilizing and fracturing NATO. KILL ERDOGAN.“
Tarrant – who called himself „Kebab Remover“ – also slanders Turkish people in his manifesto: „To Turks: You can live in peace in your own lands, and may no harm come to you. On the east side of the Bosphorus. But if you attempt to live in European lands, anywhere west of the Bosphorus. We will kill you and drive you roaches from our lands. We are coming for Constantinople and we will destroy every mosque and minaret in the city. The Hagia Sophia will be free of minarets and Constantinople will be rightfully christian owned once more. FLEE TO YOUR OWN LANDS, WHILE YOU STILL HAVE THE CHANCE.“
This mind setting of the terrorist clearly indicates that he is motivated by Islamophobia, Turkophobia and his hate against President Erdoğan. New Zealand authorities have confirmed that victims with Turkish heritage were among the 49 killed in the Christchurch mosque attacks.
As journalists we have observed decades of biased media coverage in the West and we hold this anti-Muslim and anti-Turks media coverage accountable for those assaults against Muslims and Turkish people in the Western countries.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said one of the men in custody was Australian. The biggest media services in Australia and in New Zealand are controlled by Rupert Murdoch. But pro-Zionist media mogul Rupert Murdoch owns more than Australian and New Zealand media which is documented inside the article „What does Rupert Murdoch own? A little bit of everything“ published by „USA Today“ in 2015.
Those attacks increasing rapidly in Western countries over the past years. The massacre at the mosques is an occasion to think about the advocacy of Muslim minorities in Western countries. How can advocacy work be improved? There is need to stress the transparency of the worshiping spaces.
Indeed, mosques are opened to everyone at anytime. But people may do not know about it. Everyone should know that Islam is PEACE and mosques are SPACES FOR PEACE.
Reactions from New Zealand:
New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, said many of those caught up in the shootings may have been migrants and refugees. „They are us. The person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not. They have no place in New Zealand,“ she said.
Sky News reported that the terrorist’s home town of Grafton was in shock, trying to come to terms with how a „polite, well-mannered young man“ came to find himself on a path that led to Christchurch. He was a student at the local high school and went on to work at a gym, where his former boss said he regularly volunteered his time to train kids for free.
In April 2010, Tarrant’s father died suddenly of cancer aged 49, leading him to set off on a seven-year trip around the world. It was at some time during this journey that former friends now speculate he was „perhaps radicalised“.
Family members who remained in the Grafton area were in shock and trying to come to terms with his acts, and were assisting police with their investigations, Sky News said.
Reactions from Islamic world:
„Indonesia strongly condemns this shooting act, especially at a place of worship while a Friday prayer was ongoing,“ Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said in a statement.
The founder of India’s „All India Muslim Personal Board“, a non-government body of scholars, Kamal Faruqui, said the attack was „highly condemnable. An anti-Muslim virus is spreading across the world. People of all religions should be very worried.“
Bangladeshi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam said it was „extremely lucky“ the country’s cricket team, in Christchurch for a match against New Zealand, did not suffer casualties. The players arrived for Friday prayers as the shooting started.
„I can’t even imagine what would have happened if they were there five minutes earlier,“ he said on social media.
Hundreds of angry protesters in Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital, chanted Allahu akbar (God is Greatest) after Friday prayers.
„We will not let the blood of Muslims go in vain,“ said one protester.
Pakistan’s foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal condemned the incident on social media, using the hashtag #PakistAnagainstTerror.
Afghanistan’s ambassador to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, Wahidullah Waissi, said on Twitter three Afghans had been wounded. „My thoughts are with the family of Afghan origin who’ve been shot and killed at this heinous incident.“
In Malaysia, Anwar Ibrahim, the leader of the biggest party in its ruling coalition, said one Malaysian had been wounded in the attack he described as a „black tragedy facing humanity and universal peace“. „I am deeply saddened by this uncivilized act, which goes against humanistic values and took the lives of civilians,“ he said in a statement. „We extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to the families of the victims and the people of New Zealand.“
Turkish President Erdoğan said: „I strongly condemn the terror attack against the Al Noor Mosque in #NewZealand and Muslim worshippers. May Allah have mercy on the victims and grant a speedy recovery to the wounded. On behalf of my country, I offer my condolences to the Islamic world and the people of New Zealand, who have been targeted by this deplorable act – the latest example of rising racism and Islamophobia.“
Turkish President Erdoğan’s spokesman İbrahim Kalın condemned the massacre: „We strongly condemn the fascist terrorist attack in #ChristChurch May Allah have mercy on those who lost their lives today. This cowardly act shows how anti-Muslim rhetoric and hatred leads to murderous acts. The world must break its silence over Islamophobic hatred.“
Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs said: „Not only the perpetrators, but also politicians & media, that fuel the already escalated Islamophobia and hate in the West, are equally responsible for this heinous attack.“
Reactions from Western Countries:
US-American President Donald Trump said: „My warmest sympathy and best wishes goes out to the people of New Zealand after the horrible massacre in the Mosques. 49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured. The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all!“
Britain’s interior minister Sajid Javid said social media firms must take action to stop extremism on their channels: „You really need to do more @YouTube @Google @facebook @Twitter to stop violent extremism being promoted on your platforms,“ Javid wrote on Twitter. „Take some ownership. Enough is enough.“
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: „I am deeply saddened by the news from #ChristChurch. I mourn with the New Zealanders for their fellow citizens who were attacked and murdered out of racist hatred while peacefully praying in their mosques. We stand together against such acts of terrorism.“
Heiko Maas, German Minister of Foreign Affairs, said: „We are heartbroken by the brutal crime in #ChristChurch. In these heavy hours, we stand firmly by the side of our New Zealand friends. All our sympathies go out to the families and friends of the victims.“