New Zealand Shooting
On Friday, March 15, 50 Muslim individuals were murdered in shootings at two mosques in central Christchurch, New Zealand in a terrorist attack by a white supremacist. The 28-year-old man by the name of Brentoon Harrison Tarrant has been charged with murder for his crime. Tarrant posted an 87-page racial manifesto filled with anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim beliefs on Twitter earlier that day. As a result of the attack, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has pledged that drastic action will take place in response to the attack.
“There will be changes to our gun laws,” Ardern said. “People will be seeking change, and I am commited to that.”
Ardern has said that the government would help those who had been left without incomes. She also noted that more security would be given to mosques.
“The commissioner [Mike Bush] has advised that police security will continue at mosques around New Zealand until it is determined that it is no longer a threat,” Ardern said.
Along with Tarrant, two others have been arrested in the course of police investigation. 18-year-old Daniel John Burrough faces charges of inciting racial hostility; another man was charged with a firearms offense.
Two mosques were targeted by the attacker: the Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Mosque. The victims of the attack came from countries such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. 35 individuals were wounded, 12 of whom are in critical condition.
U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar urged all Muslims to attend Friday prayers. “I know there was a call for people to not go,” Omar said. “But I said to people that is what the terrorists want us to do. That is a win for them, and so we must face the hate and terror with love and with compassion.” The shooting marks a turning point in the lives of Muslims all over the world as it shows that even in a relatively peaceful country like New Zealand, white supremacist ideology and racist beliefs can still occur. Hopefully, this will lead to a discussion about anti-Muslim sentiments as well as regulation on gun control all over the world.