Among the victims of Wednesday’s deadly Christchurch mosque shootings were three French Australians and one Iranian-born person, and their families are now rightly confronting a very difficult conundrum. To whom will they turn for information about their sons and husbands, brothers and fathers?
Families in New Zealand are no strangers to the idea of receiving conflicting — or outright confusing — information about the death or illness of a loved one.
And now there’s the new complication of what many of them think might be a link between the shooters’ radical religious beliefs and the response of the New Zealand police and government to that jihad.
Sources have reported that several of the shooters posted on Facebook that he was a descendant of the followers of Dr. Mohammed and prayed “Allah enabled me to strike down a bunch of kafirs and did not wait for them to attack us first.”
In the words of his Australian father: “This is not a mass murderer. This is a disturbed individual who carried out a cowardly, racist and deeply illegal attack. He has nothing to do with Islam.”
The flurry of alarming incidents that have given rise to the Trump-infused phrase “Brexiting” is not limited to the United Kingdom.
The angry reaction and unverified reports on Twitter came after reports of one of the New Zealand attackers’ ardent anti-Semitic views and his history of political activism.
“(He) is said to be part of a group called ‘Radical Ground,’” an anti-Muslim group that describes itself as “demanding Israeli Apartheid Apartheid Gone Now.” The founders of this group claim to have formed after a terrorist massacre of Jewish scholars at a campus in Austria and have posted a variety of shocking and anti-Semitic content on social media, attacking Israeli rabbis and encouraging other followers to self-defend against such “pogroms.”
The group has an official Facebook page, but it was temporarily deactivated after the shooting. Its own event page had been active, and people were urged to attend that day, yet there has been no evidence that anyone planned to go.
The entire world is crying out for rationality and calm on these terror attacks. This attacks is being used to fan the flames of extremism, which is seductive and repeatedly provoked throughout the world.
The only solution to the evolving phenomena of radical Islam as an ideological ideology is to fight its arguments by respecting our religious and cultural differences and preventing it from straying from its true goal.
–The Muslims in New Zealand knew this was coming and acted accordingly.
E-mail Chris Brooke at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisBrookeNT.