THE Christchurch shooting in New Zealand, in which a 28-year-old Australian-born ‘extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist’, as described by Australia’s prime minister, stormed Masjid Al Noor and Linwood Masjid and shot people at prayer on Friday from close range, going room-to-room, victim to victim, which he live-streamed on Facebook, caused horror, revulsion and dismay around the world. The attacks left 49 people, including so far reportedly three Bangladeshis, dead and 39 wounded, 12 of them critically. The Bangladesh cricket team, which was in Christchurch for a Test match and was about to get into the mosque when the attack took place, escaped without injury. While New Zealand’s prime minister described the attack, thought to be the deadliest against the Muslims in the west in modern times, as terrorism, which brought down on New Zealand one of its ‘darkest days’, many leaders from around the world started heaping condemnations terming the attack as ‘depraved and despicable act.’ The attacker is reported to have published a racist ‘manifesto’ beforehand, featuring conspiracy theories about Europeans being displaced in their homelands by immigrant groups, with details of preparation and radicalisation, leading up to the shooting, which appears to have resulted from hate campaigns against, in the case at hand, the Muslims, the most persecuted community in the current world. It also appears strange that his posting of the ‘manifesto’ and some other photographs on social networking sites has failed to alert the security agencies.
This hate campaign, across the world, stems from the states and their leaders that think they are supremacist, that have power and that need conflicts for a hordes of political reasons. Most of the attacks against humanity, whoever the victims are, that have gone down in history have happened in reaction to such hate campaigns. In the modern world, and in the case at hand, the powerful west’s blame-the-Muslims-for-all attitude has a large share in such ‘extremely depressing’ racist attacks. This is also true in the case of the Christchurch shooting as the current New Zealand government has been vocal in its support for opening the door to people suffering from wars in Syria, Afghanistan and beyond while hate campaigns, especially by the west, have done the rounds, which leaders of the world community have failed to attend to. Soon after the Christchurch shooting, a far-right Australian senator seeks to blame the victims for the incident. He seeks to say that the ‘real cause’ is ‘the immigration programme which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand’, adding that ‘World-wide, Muslims are killing people in the name of their faith on an industrial scale,’ a statement which belies the history of mass shooting and massacre. There is no dearth of people and the states that often try to advance their political cause with such false statements and deceitful propaganda.
It is now for the world leaders to realise the distinction between what is and is not hate campaign and tell the political undercurrents that lie beneath them that have caused such terrorist attacks. It is also for them now to own up to their past failures and make a course correction as for whatever reasons such incidents take place, it is the ordinary, innocent people, irrespective of their religious creed, who pay with their lives.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Editorial