What inspired the terror in Christchurch?

After the attacks on two mosques New Zealand wants to tighten gun laws as quickly as possible. A 28-year-old Australian shot at least 50 people in Christchurch on Friday while filming the killing spree with a bodycam and streaming it live on social media. Prior to the attack he posted a manifesto with far-right rhetoric online. Commentators look at the roots of right-wing terror.

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Habertürk (TR) /

A post-modernist crusader

The attack exposes a new form of terrorism that instrumentalises Christianity, columnist Nihal Bengisu Karaca writes in Habertürk:

“Is this a bloodthirsty psychopath who wanted to commit murder and make it look cool? Or are the manifesto and the act of terror harbingers of a new form of organisation that combines violent acts with Christian codes and an ultra-right ideology directed against globalisation and modernism? I think it's the latter. ... Just as the IS has exploited Islam for its own heretical interpretations and desire to kill, here we are confronted with a 21st century 'crusader' mentality. ... It's clear that politicians like Trump, who promotes the [right-wing extremist] alt-right movement in the US, Geert Wilders and Le Pen have contributed to the rise of this movement.”

Le Soir (BE) /

Powerless vis-à-vis far-right attackers

The spread of racist conspiracy theories such as those espoused by far-right ideologist Guillaume Fay is hard to counter, historian Stéphane François explains in an interview:

“I can deconstruct all these theories but I'll never be able to persuade their proponents of my point of view. ... Guillaume Fay has been convicted several times. But has that stopped him? No! ... In my opinion there's only one thing we can do: monitor these militants and arrest them before they strike. But as we know, a militant can easily prepare his project without being detected by the police.”

Mérce (HU) /

Terrorist's rhetoric is commonplace in Hungary

Hungarians are only too familiar with the words used by the terrorist in his 74-page manifesto, editor-in-chief András Jámbor writes on the left-leaning website Mérce:

“The white race, the immigrant invasion, the fight to protect Christianity, the looming demise of the Western world. Government propaganda bombards us with these selfsame phrases day after day. It's no coincidence that the pro-government media - which have no qualms about casting a simple car accident as a terrorist attack - are now being very demure. The website Origo, for example, simply calls the attacker a tennis instructor. Of course it's important to know that. But you have to read to the end of the article to find out that the attack also had to do with the white race.”

Yeni Şafak (TR) /

Viewers are accomplices

Yeni Şafak explains what the killer wanted to achieve by uploading images of the attack live on social media:

“By the time the authorities were able to ban the images they'd already been shared over various networks to many computers and cell phones. ... Those who found out about the bloody attack in this way - even if they said to themselves 'Oh my God' or 'What barbarity' - actually served the attacker's purpose as viewers. Those who share these images on their own networks, who sent them to their wives, husbands or friends and uploaded them on their profiles in fact aided and abetted the crime. ... In that way terror sends us a message: in our visual age it will emerge victorious because we too can become its messengers.”

The Sunday Times (GB) /

Don't give terrorists a stage

We should avoid paying too much attention to the attacker and his views, The Sunday Times stresses:

“And we should also ensure that Brenton Tarrant, the narcissistic Australian-born inadequate who committed these cowardly murders, never achieves the lasting notoriety he craves. Anders Breivik, Norway’s far-right mass murderer, who killed 77 in 2011, has had films made about him and had the gall to appeal against his solitary confinement. That appeal, which his lawyers took to the European Court of Human Rights, was dismissed. These killers deserve a solitary life in prison. And obscurity.”

Vedomosti (RU) /

Internet is a stomping ground for psychopaths

Vedomosti examines the apparent glaring contradiction between New Zealand's idyllic image and the brutality of this act of terrorism:

“This raises the question of how such a tragedy could happen in a country separated by oceans from the trouble spots. ... Economic growth, a high level of prosperity, optimal natural conditions and a low crime rate made life there calm and peaceful. ... This repetition of the crime committed by Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway in July 2011, shows that economic prosperity and official tolerance towards migrants and refugees don't guarantee security. The tragedy of New Zealand has revealed the high level of psychosis that is supported by certain parts of the social networks.”

NRC Handelsblad (NL) /

Global network of hatred

Muslim LGBTQ activist Dino Suhonic warns observers in Europe to avoid making a huge mistake in NRC Handelsblad:

“Some media see the attack as an isolated incident. But we have to ask whether we are taking the transnational far right seriously enough. ... This global movement has a long history. All kinds of myths create fictitious borders between the 'backward' Islamic East and the 'Judaeo-Christian' Western civilisation. The rhetoric in Tarrant's manifesto is also cultivated by some politicians in the West. For that reason we must not view hate rhetoric against Muslims and migrants in abstraction from terrorist attacks such as this one.”

More opinions

Irish Examiner (IE) / 18 March 2019
  Hate messages have become acceptable