Do the New Zealand mosque attacks prove that terror has no religion?

Blanche Robertson
March 16, 2019

Australian personal trainer Tarrant described himself as an "ordinary white man born to a working class, low income family" who "decided to take a stand", according to a vile 74-page manifesto of hate posted online.

A day after the deadly mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, the alleged shooter was presented in court on Saturday, March 16, morning.

Forty-one people were killed at the Al Noor mosque.

They included Asif Shaikh, 44, who said he was among more than 100 people at the Al Noor mosque when the attacker came in. No images have emerged from the second mosque.

He was not a resident of Christchurch, the prime minister added.

Nassau County officials said they were monitoring the situation and increasing patrols around houses of worship, as well. "There were elderly people sitting there praying and he just started shooting at them".

Two other suspected accomplices have also been arrested. In New Zealand, commentators also anxious that the horror would sow deep divisions in a society that has largely avoided the polarizations that have spread elsewhere.

Twelve operating theatres worked through the night on the more than 40 people wounded, said hospital authorities.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks to media during a press conference at Parliament on March 15, 2019 in Wellington, New Zealand.

Outside the court, the son of 71-year-old Afghan victim Daoud Nabi demanded justice for his late father, who believed New Zealand to be a "slice of paradise".

"Hi guys how are you".

"If this evil thinks we will stop going to our mosque here or stop doing our worship to our god, Allah, we never ever can not stop", Linwood mosque Imam Ibrahim Abdelhalim told reporters outside.

There are people who I would describe as having extremist views that have absolutely no place in New Zealand and in fact have no place in the world.

"New Zealanders are devastated", Jackson said in a statement to Variety.

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The majority of victims were migrants or refugees from countries such as Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Somalia and Afghanistan.

"I've only been here for four months and it's always felt so safe here, but now the feeling has completely changed".

"For once, the person that will be called a fascist, is an actual fascist, I am sure the journalists will love that", he wrote.

In New Zealand, police officers don't routinely carry firearms.

I have spoken this evening to the mayor of Christchurch and I intend to speak this evening to the Imam.

He said up to 70 people were praying inside Linwood when gunshots were heard.

Tributes to the victims poured in from around the world.

Schools, institutions and workplaces went forced into lockdown for three and half hours on Friday afternoon as police hunted the shooters.

She said Tarrant, who has been arrested and charged with murder and committing a terrorist act, had allegedly used five firearms, including two semi-automatic weapons, two shotguns and a lever-action firearm.

She is calling for gun reform in the wake of the killings. The minimum legal age to own a gun in New Zealand is 16, or 18 for military-style semi-automatic weapons. Though New Zealand requires licensing and a background check, the country's gun laws are not as strict as its neighbor Australia, which tightened gun laws after the Port Arthur massacre of 1996 that left 35 people dead. "Are there associates in the United States?"

Leaders around the world expressed sorrow and disgust at the attacks, with some deploring the demonisation of Muslims.

"Our investigations are in their early stages and we will be looking closely to build a picture of any of the individuals involved and all of their activities prior to this horrific event", Police Commissioner Mike Bush said.

Ardern said she had spoken to Trump, who had asked how he could help. Police told her that he is not among the 49 fatalities.

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