On Friday, 15th March a devastating terrorist attack took place at two Mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. This resulted in the death of 50 innocent civilians with another 50 people wounded. According to law enforcement, these attacks were meticulously planned leading up to the outbreak which took place during Friday prayer (Jummuah) – the busiest time for Mosques worldwide. The shooter, a 28-year-old Australian man was charged for the attack, alongside his two other accomplices. The initial attack had the largest death toll, it took place at 1:30 pm at al Noor mosque and the second at Linwood Mosque. To capture this horrific event, the murderer filmed the poor victims for 17 minutes whilst he massacred them. This video was live-streamed on Facebook, shocking the world and devastating families.
The response for this tragedy has been extreme from both sides, however it has mainly been overwhelmingly positive. New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern tweeted “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 migrant communities – New Zealand is their home – they are us.” There have been several other leaders, citizens and celebrities who have shared their condolences to those suffering. This included the U.S. President Donald Trump who tweeted “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!” The amount of love spreading worldwide has been truly powerful during this difficult time.
It is crucial during this time for the world to overlook the shooter, as more publicity only fuels terrorists. It is much more important for us all to focus on the victims and their families. The New Zealand government has worked very hard to ensure that the shooters face remains pixelated and this was a brilliant idea. By keeping the attention off the murderer, the world can focus on peace whilst law enforcement handles the terrorists involved. Those involved also sent an 87-page manifesto to the NZ Prime Minister minutes before the attack as well as posting it on social media. This shows the infatuation the terrorists had with the behaviours of terrorists before them. Written manifestos are not new forms of creating publicity for attention seeking terrorists who want to share their hateful propaganda. Leaders around the world have urged people not to watch the live stream or read the manifesto as it is crucial that these are ignored by all civilians – this is the best way to handle terrorists.
The shooter, Brenton Tarrant was charged for the mass murder of the innocent civilians. When he attended the Christchurch district court on Saturday 16th, he remained silent during his short court appearance. He has been remanded in custody and due to re-attend court on 5th April. To take further action and ensure that this doesn’t happen again Ardern stated to reporters on Saturday that “I can tell you one thing right now, our gun laws will change. There have been attempts to change our laws in 2005, 2012 and after an inquiry in 2017. Now is the time for change.”
This event reminds us that in dark times the world can come together to mourn. It Is an extremely difficult time for New Zealand, for Muslims all around the world and for the families affected by this. It is also a very difficult time for Australia, having a young man throw his life away to terrorism and being consumed by hatred. We can only imagine how embarrassed and devastated the family of the terrorists must feel. As Bill Shorten stated “There are…millions of Australians who feel solidarity with you today. It was an Australian who did this, but this is not an Australian who represents Australia. Please take the message that 99.99 per cent do not support the hate.”
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