Christchurch : It's Hateful Ideology

Over the past three weeks the world has been processing the horror of the terror attack that took place in Christchurch, New Zealand.

As more details became known in the days following the attack, people began to look for answers. In this digital age, when hateful ideologies spread ever more rapidly across borders, 'lone wolf' theories no longer held much water - if they ever did. In truth, this act of violence must be understood within a much wider frame.

Unsurprisingly and legitimately, the media quickly came under scrutiny not just for reporting of the attack itself, but also for the role it may have played in spreading hateful views.

The press globally must be held to account for the voices they choose to amplify.

Politicians, too, have also been criticised for normalising far-right extremism. While there has been an alarming rise in such movements securing elected power over the past few years, one should not let mainstream parties off the hook either.

Internationally mainstream politicians in the West have been guilty of legitimising ideas which were core to the attacker's worldview, though Trump, Putin, Macron, May, Modi, Popeā€”all have condemned the terror attack.

The 'faceless' violence against Muslims that is rarely given much weight.

"Usually and on a daily basis, the murderer is hidden behind a smart missile, an army unit, a political decision, a state, a political speech, a border policy, or other less offensive means of committing mass murder".

They all do the mass murdering, but in a way that makes it acceptable to their citizens, a way that does not disturb or offend the sensibilities of the average citizen and allows them to live with a clear conscience.

It was a racist attack. The Australian gunman whose assaults on two New Zealand mosques on March 15 left at least 49 peple dead, published a racist manifesto on Twitter before livestream-ing his rampage. Not that it will end here. Increasing "islamophobia" across the world has the potential to give birth to more cruelty and cynicism.


Vol. 51, No. 40, Apr 7 - 13, 2019