Andrew Bolt and my other media colleagues seem incapable of self-reflection after Christchurch | Gay Alcorn

The Guardian World news: Islam - 7 hours 55 min ago

The both sides argument has rung hollow for years, but at this moment it is disgusting

On Monday morning, Sunrise host David Koch took Pauline Hanson on.

“Pauline, this terrorist manifesto almost reads like One Nation immigration and Muslim policy. Do you in any way feel complicit in this atrocity?”

Related: Australians are asking how did we get here? Well, Islamophobia is practically enshrined as public policy | Jason Wilson

Related: Welcome to the latest edition of It's Never Ever White People's Fault | First Dog on the Moon

Gay Alcorn is the Melbourne editor of Guardian Australia

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Muslim Sky News staffer quits and says channel increases ‘polarisation and paranoia’

The Guardian World news: Islam - 8 hours 23 min ago

Rashna Farrukh says the Christchurch massacre shows media coverage has ‘real life consequences’

A young Muslim woman says she quit her junior liaison job at Sky News after the Christchurch massacre because she felt the commentators were increasing polarisation and fear.

“Some nights I felt physically sick, others I even shed tears in my car on the way home,” Rashna Farrukh wrote for ABC online after resigning from Sky after three years. “I continued to compromise my values. Not only my values as a member of a religious group who was continuously being blamed and alienated by the rhetoric on these shows, but also as an aspiring journalist.

Just the usual factual errors from #theirABC as they use a young person with no demand for journalistic standards such as the citation of examples, quotes and facts. Just the right feelings and the desired ideological stance. Shame. #theirABC already forced to correct.

Hate clicks is not responsible reach, ABC. This was the ratio of reactions immediately after the national broadcaster finished Facebook live streaming Fr*ser Ann*ng's presser yesterday, giving him an uncritical platform to spew his hatred

.@craigmcmurtrie: "The press conference was taken and to be honest, that was simply because the memo didn't reach a particular producer and so it was live streamed"
@Raf_Epstein: "So it was a mistake to broadcast live on Facebook?"@craigmcmurtrie: "Yes"#auspol #FraserAnning

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After the Christchurch massacre, how do we deal with the trauma and outrage? | Sara Mansour

The Guardian World news: Islam - 18 March, 2019 - 22:44

When someone makes an inappropriate joke, or when a senator makes incendiary remarks, speak up

When I walked into work on Monday I told myself I was going to be strong. Then an Indigenous colleague pulled me aside and hugged me and I crumbled in her arms. She told me that the Indigenous community was so sorry for what has happened to our community, and we talked and cried. I, like many other Muslims, have felt the pain of the Christchurch mosque massacre so viscerally.

I was so shaken that I did not step out at all over the weekend.

Related: Until Christchurch I thought it was worth debating with Islamophobes. Not any more | Nesrine Malik

If this is not the Australia that we know, then we have to prove it.

Sara Mansour is a lawyer, poet and the co-founder and director of the Bankstown Poetry Slam

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Q&A recap: Liberal senator Linda Reynolds says medevac bill made her ‘almost physically ill’

The Guardian World news: Islam - 18 March, 2019 - 19:56

Reynolds’ response to question on Christchurch attack prompts Tony Jones to ask whether she was linking refugees with terrorism

Liberal senator Linda Reynolds has told ABC’s Q&A program that the passage of last month’s medevac bill for critically sick refugees made her “almost physically ill” because she “lived through terrorism and … the Bali bombings”.

Reynolds had been asked, in light of the Christchurch terror attack, whether Australia’s politicians and media had built a fear of migrants and “others” over the past decade.

Related: Jacinda Ardern is showing the world what real leadership is: sympathy, love and integrity | Suzanne Moore

Related: Channel Seven says Pauline Hanson still welcome after Koch Christchurch accusation

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Anti-Muslim bigotry cannot go unchecked | Letter

The Guardian World news: Islam - 18 March, 2019 - 18:23
Letter: Muslim leaders condemn the Christchurch attack and call on authorities to increase efforts to combat Islamophobia

We are horrified by the cold-blooded massacre of 50 peaceful Muslim worshippers, including women and children, in Christchurch, New Zealand, last Friday. The brutal and merciless killing of innocent and defenceless worshippers devastates us. Our thoughts and prayers are with the scores of injured who remain hospitalised. Our deepest, heartfelt condolences go out to the families who have lost their loved ones. We pray that the agony of the bereaved may find some comfort and solace in knowing those slain will be granted paradise, God willing.

In recent times, we have seen levels of racist and anti-religious sentiments on the rise globally. We witnessed the horrific terror attacks at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, the church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, and Muslim worshippers mowed down in Finsbury Park, London. In each of these cases, the perpetrators self-identified as holding far-right nationalist views and expressed hatred for racial and religious minorities. Views such as these have found a natural home in far-right populist narratives. If such abhorrent views go unchecked in the media, and indeed within mainstream political discourse and institutions, minority communities of all descriptions will continue to face increasing threats of persecution around the world.

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Why was I asked to condemn Islamist violence days after Christchurch? | Latifa Akay

The Guardian World news: Islam - 18 March, 2019 - 12:59

I believe white supremacy fuelled the attack, failing to recognise this lays groundwork for more violence

Less than two days after the horror of the massacre of 50 Muslims in two mosques in New Zealand, I was asked in an interview on the BBC news channel whether or not I think Muslim communities in the UK do enough to condemn Islamist extremism.

“There’s a straightforward problem here, isn’t there – one of the reasons that some of this language has become common is bluntly because of the Islamist violence and the Islamist extremism that has happened – one of the criticisms we hear in this country has been that there isn’t enough criticism of those people by the mainstream Islamic community – what do you say to that?”

Blaming the victim here. Extraordinary.#NewZealandTerroristAttack

Related: New Zealand attack: victims of the mosque massacre

Related: Police declare stabbing in Surrey a terrorism incident

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UK Muslim leaders seek funding for mosque security

The Guardian World news: Islam - 18 March, 2019 - 08:00

Christchurch attack prompts call for government support equal to that pledged for Jewish communities

Muslim leaders have called on the government to provide funding for mosque security in the wake of the New Zealand shootings.

Harun Khan, the secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, will be writing to the prime minister raising the “palpable sense of fear” felt by Muslim communities after the attack in Christchurch which claimed 50 lives, and warning of the risk of copycat attacks in the UK.

Related: The Observer view on the Christchurch shootings: we’ve been too slow to see the far right threat| Observer editorial

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Channel Seven says Pauline Hanson still welcome after Koch Christchurch accusation

The Guardian World news: Islam - 18 March, 2019 - 05:01

Sunrise presenter David Koch says terrorist manifesto ‘reads like One Nation immigration and Muslim policy’

Channel Seven’s Sunrise program will continue to give Pauline Hanson a platform each week despite host David Koch’s fiery exchange with the One Nation leader about her vilification of Muslims.

“We never shy away from debates,” the executive producer, Michael Pell, told Guardian Australia. “We canvass both sides and the viewer is left to make up his or her own mind.”

“This terrorist manifesto almost reads like One Nation immigration and muslim policy. Do you feel complicit with this atrocity?”@Kochie_Online to @PaulineHansonOZ after the Christchurch terror attack.

Related: Scott Morrison attacks 'mindless tribalism' after Christchurch massacre

Fucking spare me. This show has given Pauline Hanson a platform for years. Don't turn around now and pretend to be shocked at her views

Related: Australians are asking how did we get here? Well, Islamophobia is practically enshrined as public policy | Jason Wilson

We stand in support of our fellow New Zealanders and are working with our colleagues at @SkyNewsAust to ensure coverage doesn’t compromise ongoing investigations in NZ. We made the decision on Friday with Sky News Australia to replace their live news with sport.

Monday’s front page of The Daily Telegraph

Related: Facebook removed 1.5m videos of New Zealand terror attack in first 24 hours

EG 1 Bolt’s Aug Sky editrl “The Price of Muslim Immigration”
“We imported such extremism.. what must be done to shut the door?”
“Even if you screen the parents, you cannot screen their children.”
If a parent is Muslim-authorities can’t be sure the kid is not a terrorist?

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Dutton criticised for 'vile' claim that Greens 'just as bad' as Fraser Anning

The Guardian World news: Islam - 17 March, 2019 - 22:07

Home affairs minister accuses Greens of trying to extract a political advantage from the mosque shootings

Peter Dutton has accused the Greens of being “just as bad” as extreme right-wing nationalist senator Fraser Anning, claiming both are seeking to extract political advantage from the Christchurch terror attack.

On Monday the home affairs minister equated the Greens holding him accountable for stoking anti-Islamic sentiment with Anning’s comments blaming the attack on Muslim immigration.

Related: Greens demand hate speech by MPs be stamped out after Christchurch massacre

Related: Australians are asking how did we get here? Well, Islamophobia is practically enshrined as public policy | Jason Wilson

Stop normalising hate speech Peter. Political criticism is not the same as blaming Muslims for this terrorist act. Now is the time for decent politicians to show some ethical leadership. Our democracy requires it.

Related: 'Full force of the law' should apply to Fraser Anning after egging incident, Morrison says

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Mosque attacks and the narrative of exclusion | Letters

The Guardian World news: Islam - 17 March, 2019 - 18:50
Guardian readers respond to the Christchurch shootings

Jonathan Freedland (We must confront the right’s hate preachers, 16 March) is right to castigate Viktor Orbán, Matteo Salvini and Donald Trump for their anti-Islamic rhetoric. But we must not omit the part played by British politicians in deliberately adopting language that promotes hatred of religious and racial groups. Boris Johnson’s “letterboxes”, David Cameron’s “swarm” of migrants, Theresa May’s “Go home” posters, Sajid Javid’s “asylum shoppers” all help to inspire the warped narrative of exclusion that the Christchurch murderer made explicit in his manifesto.
John Hambley
Snape, Suffolk

• Jonathan Freedland does not go far enough in arguing that political leaders such as Orbán and Trump have contributed to Islamaphobia. When has any political leader in this country, Europe or the US ever made an embracing and inclusive statement of nationhood like Jacinda Ardern’s when she said of all those killed in Christchurch – many of them probably immigrants and refugees – that, “They are us.”
Rod Edmond
Deal, Kent

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The Guardian view on Xinjiang’s detention camps: not just China’s shame | Editorial

The Guardian World news: Islam - 17 March, 2019 - 18:29
Vast numbers of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities are being held in detention. The world must speak out

An “A-list” comedian, well-known singers, scholars, pensioners and civil servants – the list of prisoners grows. As many as 1.5 million Uighurs and other Muslims are or have been held in camps in China’s Xinjiang region without charge or trial, a leading researcher believes. Virtually no Uighur family is untouched, he says.

China has moved from denying the camps to describing them as vocational training centres, comparable to boarding schools. In the run-up to last week’s meeting of the UN human rights council in Geneva, it invited diplomats from selected countries on tours and choreographed visits for a few journalists, who were greeted with people singing If You’re Happy and You Know It, Clap Your Hands. According to Beijing, these are students receiving free accommodation, skills training, and lessons in Chinese language and law.

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'Bring back Jeanine Pirro': Trump defends Fox host after show goes off air

The Guardian World news: Islam - 17 March, 2019 - 17:53
  • Absence follows furore over comments about Ilhan Omar
  • President: ‘Fox must stay strong and fight back with vigour’

Before attending church on Sunday, Donald Trump defended a Fox News host who was taken off air after she questioned whether a Muslim congresswoman’s religious beliefs were compatible with the US constitution.

Related: Pete Buttigieg to Fox News: 'Ideological spectrum has never been less relevant'

Fox must stay strong and fight back with vigour. Stop working soooo hard on being politically correct

Related: 'I know what intolerance looks like': Ilhan Omar takes her turn in the spotlight

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Greens demand hate speech by MPs be stamped out after Christchurch massacre

The Guardian World news: Islam - 17 March, 2019 - 07:10

Richard Di Natale warns Fraser Anning ‘is not a lone voice in our parliament’ and calls for code of conduct

The Greens have cited the rightwing terrorist attack in Christchurch to renew calls for a parliamentary code of conduct to stamp out hate speech, a push also backed by Australia’s peak Muslim body.

Richard Di Natale has written to Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten warning that the extreme rightwing nationalist senator Fraser Anning – who blamed the attack on Muslim immigration – “is not a lone voice in our parliament” and more needs to be done to prevent “hateful rhetoric”.

Related: 'Full force of the law' should apply to Fraser Anning after egging incident, Morrison says

Related: Fraser Anning will soon leave our parliament – but his xenophobic message will not | Amy Remeikis

Related: Australians are asking how did we get here? Well, Islamophobia is practically enshrined as public policy | Jason Wilson

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Do not let raw anger cloud our judgment after Christchurch | Kenan Malik

The Guardian World news: Islam - 17 March, 2019 - 06:00
It is depressing to see how discussion of the shooting has already descended into name-calling

“Solidarity and anger. Those were my immediate emotions.” So I wrote three years ago after Islamist gunmen wreaked carnage on the streets of Paris. And they were my immediate emotions – indeed of most people, I assume – on hearing of the horror in Christchurch, New Zealand.

“Beyond solidarity and anger,” I added, “we need also analysis.” That’s even truer after Christchurch. The issues raised by the barbarous terror are many and urgent – the rise of the far right and how to combat it; how mainstream commentators talk of Muslims and immigration and whiteness; the boundaries of free speech; the regulation of social media. And so on. I will no doubt have my say on these issues in the coming days.

The rawness of anger inevitably clouds judgment. The grammar of social media inexorably leads to polarised confrontation

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The Observer view on the Christchurch shootings: we’ve been too slow to see the far right threat| Observer editorial

The Guardian World news: Islam - 17 March, 2019 - 05:59
We need to reflect on the role that even mainstream parties and the media play in spreading racist attitudes

After so many attacks over so many years, we have become inured to terrorist atrocities. This in itself is a tragedy. Yet even after so much previous bloodshed in the name of hate-filled ideologies, the murder of 49 men, women and children at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday has spread shock and disgust around the globe.

There is something particularly appalling about targeting people for their faith, as they engage in the act of worship.

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Christchurch attack: New Zealand in mourning over mosque massacre – latest updates

The Guardian World news: Islam - 17 March, 2019 - 02:25

Police say suspect acted alone as death toll from shooting rises to 50, with 50 people injured

2.23am GMT

David Meates, the chief executive of the Canterbury district health board, has issued an update about those still in hospital following the attack.

We currently have 34 patients who were injured in the mosque attacks in Christchurch hospital.

Two were discharged late yesterday and we expect two more people will be well enough to go home later today. There are currently 12 people in intensive care in a critical condition. We expect a small number of these people to be well enough to transfer to other wards later today.

2.20am GMT

New Zealand Football has paid tribute to Atta Elayyan, a futsal player who was among those killed in Friday’s shooting.

Josh Margetts from New Zealand Football said: “To Atta’s family, we are deeply sorry for your loss. We can’t imagine what you are going through, but please know we love you and we are here for you during this incredibly difficult time.”

QUOTE | @NZ_Football Futsal Development Manager @margetts_josh: “To Atta’s family, we are deeply sorry for your loss. We can’t imagine what you are going through, but please know we love you and we are here for you during this incredibly difficult time.” #RIPAtta @MainlandFooty

QUOTE: @MainlandFooty CEO Julian Bowden on @attaelayyan. "Atta was a popular member of the Canterbury United family. We are in a state of shock with this news. On behalf of everyone at Mainland Football, we reiterate what many have said that this is not our New Zealand.” #RIPAtta

2.03am GMT

The Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, says the “full force of the law” should apply to Fraser Anning after he punched a 17-year-old boy who egged him at an event in Melbourne, Paul Karp reports

Speaking earlier this morning, Morrison also flagged a tougher approach to social media companies, urging them to boost capacity to stop extremist videos.

Related: 'Full force of the law' should apply to Fraser Anning after egging incident, Morrison says

1.58am GMT

The Otago Daily Times reports that the owner of New Zealand firearms chain Gun City, David Tipple, will hold a press conference tomorrow.

New Zealand’s gun laws have come under heavy scrutiny since Friday’s mass shooting. On Saturday the country’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, said the country would ban semi-automatic weapons.

1.45am GMT

Mahmood Kahn is from Bangladesh and is at Christchurch hospital to support the Bangladeshi community.

There is no consulate in New Zealand for Bangladesh. “So I am here,” he tells Guardian Australia.

Thread: "I am Mahmood Kahn, I am a captain of a ship. We were on our way here to Christchurch from Auckland and arrived at 1am this morning. I went straight to the mosque. I am just so very sad, we are all very sad. I needed to immediately go there and pay my respects."

1.29am GMT

A 23-year old Queensland man has been arrested after he allegedly drove his car into the gates of a mosque and shouted offensive words at worshippers inside on Saturday.

Queensland police allege the man drove his car into the gates of the Baitul Masroor Mosque at Stockleigh, near Brisbane.

1.17am GMT

The New Zealand Herald has published a 12-second video of the moment the suspected Christchurch shooter was arrested by police officers.

Three police officers can be seen standing over a man laying on his back on the footpath. An officer drags him towards a second police car, before turning the suspect on to his stomach. The suspect, in handcuffs, appears motionless throughout.

1.12am GMT

Shonny Jones, 17 is with three friends at Hagley Park, holding signs that read “free hugs” and “we are one”. They are headed to the makeshift memorials, with flowers and cards still piling up.

“Some terrible things have happened lately and we need to spread positivity and get it out there. We can get through this and we are going to be OK,” Jones says.

These gorgeous kids are headed to the memorial sites to support the Muslim community

1.03am GMT

Police in Queensland have arrested a man after he drove his car into the gates of a mosque south of Brisbane overnight.

Police allege that at 2.20pm on Saturday a 23-year-old man was stopped for a roadside drug test and was given a 24-hour driver’s licence suspension notice after he returned a positive result.

12.58am GMT

A few of the front pages from Christchurch, Australia and London today.

Christchurch front pages

#Frontpages Sunday @dailytelegraph

#Frontpages Sunday @theheraldsun

#Frontpages Sunday @smh

The front page of The Sunday Telegraph: 'May begs 'patriotic' MPs to back deal' #tomorrowspaperstoday

12.51am GMT

Jacinda Ardern placed a wreath at the Kilbirnie mosque in Wellington a little while ago.

The crowd gathered at the mosque sang a Te Reo rendition of Hallelujah, per the New Zealand Herald. The prime minister embraced a crying man at the top of the steps before going inside the mosque to meet with Muslim community members.

12.47am GMT

At Christchurch hospital, the founder and chair of the Canterbury Refugee Resettlement and Resource Centre, Ahmed Tani, has not slept for days. His phone won’t stop ringing and family members of the dead and injured approach him outside of the hospital for support.

“I’m frightened and they are frightened,” he tells Guardian Australia. “They never thought something would happen like this and that’s why everyone is still afraid. Some of the community, yes, are frustrated. But the frustration they have is more that they don’t know where to go or what to do at first. Now that’s turning into gratefulness for the great support. The public, the New Zealand society, they have stood up to support [us]. And that has relieved a lot of their frustration.”

12.36am GMT

Who was Brenton Tarrant? Ben Smee has filed this piece from the town of Grafton, in northern New South Wales, where the suspected gunman grew up. Few could point to little other than a normal upbringing, Ben writes.

Related: Grafton was known for jacaranda blossom but mosque shootings have changed that

12.29am GMT

Robertson confirms an additional person who has entered intensive care since yesterday:

There’s an additional person who’s had further operative surgery and has come back to the intensive care unit. It’s a fairly fluid situation depending on where we think the patient is best managed. This stretches a lot of our resources. If we think they are in abetter situation or better managed in an intensive care location, that’s where they will go.

12.21am GMT

Robertson is being asked about the reaction of the staff at the hospital: “horror, stunned, anger,” he says.

It’s a bit challenging for people. You know, we’re all part of the community and we’re struggling with it as much as everyone else. This is not something that we expected to see in our environment. We do see gunshot wounds. We do see all these type of injuries, but, you know, 40 or 50 people in a day is more than what we should see ... Most people cope with things pretty well when you’re doing things. It’s when you go home and you think about it that that’s when the issues start to declare themselves.

12.18am GMT

Greg Robertson, Christchurch hospital’s head of surgery, is speaking to media now. He says another patient is expected to go home today.

There are 12 patients currently in the intensive care unit in a critical condition. We are expecting some discharges from the intensive care to the surgical wards today. In addition there is the young girl in Starship hospital. Her condition is still listed as critical.

11.58pm GMT

Founder and chair of the Canterbury Refugee Resettlement and Resource Centre Ahmed Tani has just spoken to @GuardianAus. Thread: he says: "Jacinda Ardern came to my office. She is a wonderful prime minister, very lovely. And parliamentarians."

11.56pm GMT

11.55pm GMT

The New Zealand prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, will lay a wreath at the Kilbirnie Mosque in Wellington with the city’s mayor, Justin Lester, shortly. It will be followed by a meeting with Islamic community leaders.

Ardern is also due to hold a press conference at 4pm.

11.48pm GMT

Hundreds of protesters held a symbolic funeral in Istanbul on Saturday to mourn the victims of the two New Zealand mosque shootings, AFP reports.

The suspected gunman charged over the attack in Christchurch published a document online that Turkish media said contained specific references to Turkey.

11.38pm GMT

This morning outside the entrance to Hagley College, police armed with rifles have implemented a “zone of respect”; stretching 100 meters either side of the college and 60 meters across.

The zone or “boundary” of respect is sacred, a volunteer told the Guardian, and media and members of the public are being politely asked not to enter it, and allow the families peace and privacy, following complaints from grieving families that they were being “hounded” by the press.

11.32pm GMT

The New Zealand high commissioner in Canberra, Dame Annette King, has just spoken about the Christchurch terror attack.


We want to express our deep sympathy, our sorrow and our aroha to the families, the people of Christchurch and those back home in New Zealand. Like many around the world we are shocked at what happened in Christchurch on Friday, because it was an unprecedented act of cowardly, unprovoked violence against innocent people including children who were at a place of worship and peace. As we heard this morning, the death toll is now 50.

These attack have affected us deeply, they have affected our migrant communities, Kiwis young and old ... Because we do see it as an assault on our home, on our way of life, on us. Those who do make New Zealand home – they are us. And as the prime minister [Jacinda Ardern] said: this is not who we are.

11.25pm GMT

Amid a steady downpour in Christchurch, a medical helicopter landed on a school sports oval on Sunday morning, where an ambulance was waiting. A patient was unloaded from the helicopter into the waiting ambulance, and what appeared to be a body was uploaded and taken away into the grey, darkening skies.

The tree-lined Hagley Avenue between Christchurch hospital, where 11 people remain in critical care, and Hagley College, where families search for loved ones and gather to swap news, has become the epicentre of the crisis as grieving families enter day three, and are still unable to claim their dead for burial. Despite the downpour the Muslim community is gathered under sopping trees and on park benches, and a bevvy of television cameras and media remain in place, their lenses pointed towards the doors of the hospital as the death toll from Friday’s attack continues to climb.

11.19pm GMT

The Catholic archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher, has put out a statement in support of the victims in Christchurch.

Fisher will attend an interfaith service at St Mary’s in Sydney along with the Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, on Sunday. He said Catholics “must also stand united with our Muslim brothers and sisters, and people of all faiths, in our commitment to peace”.

11.13pm GMT

New Zealand high commissioner praises the "sympathy and solidarity" of Australian mates. Re perpetraitors: "they are not us, they are not Australia either". #auspol @mmcgowan #ChristChurch

11.12pm GMT

The Sunday Times in the UK is reporting that security agency MI5 is leading an inquiry into the suspected shooter’s possible links to Britain.

11.06pm GMT

New Zealand police commissioner Mike Bush also said on Sunday morning that another person has been taken into custody, though he’s not believed to be linked to the attack.

I can also confirm that due to evidence collected during the investigation we have taken another person into custody. There is no information to suggest this person is linked to the attacks. Enquiries are ongoing in relation to this person and we will update you when we are able.

11.03pm GMT

New Zealand Police have confirmed they conducted a search of a property in Dunedin this morning, the city were Tarrant lived.

“A number of items of interest were located however no items that would present harm to members of the public were discovered.”

The search of a property in Somerville Street, Dunedin, has now completed.

A number of items of interest were located however no items that would present harm to members of the public were discovered.

10.56pm GMT

Australia’s prime minister, Scott Morrison, will join politicians and religious figures, including the Grand Mufti of Australia, at a Sydney cathedral for an interfaith prayer for the victims of the Christchurch massacre on Sunday.

10.48pm GMT

We’re learning more about the victims of Friday’s terrible shooting. The places where they or their parents had started their lives included India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Jordan, Pakistan, Palestine and Fiji.

The first to be formally identified was Daoud Nabi, a 71-year-old who left his home in Afghanistan more than four decades ago. His son Omar said his father had described New Zealand as “a slice of paradise”.

10.37pm GMT

Hi, and welcome to our ongoing coverage of the fallout from Friday’s mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand.

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Christchurch: Reckoning for the Right

Indigo Jo Blogs - 16 March, 2019 - 23:47
A picture of three of the automatic rifle magazines used in the Christchurch massacre. They have English and Serbian writing on them, including "For Rotherham" and the names of mass shooters Alexandre Bissonette and Luca Traini.

Last Friday, in the early hours of the morning UK time but in the early afternoon local time, a far-right terrorist entered two mosques in Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand, with automatic rifles emblazoned with the names of various people Muslims had wronged and various people who had committed atrocities against Muslims, and shot around 100 people in total of whom at this moment 50 have died. The dead included men, women and children though, as he targeted a Friday noon prayer, the majority of the casualties were men and boys. The attacker had discussed his plans on one of the criminal websites commonly associated with misogynist abuse, racism and website cracking; he live-streamed the massacre on various social media sites and although the sites involved took the footage down, some newspaper websites reissued extracts from it. The footage, shot from a headcam, shows him playing a tune from a pro-Karadzic propaganda video from the Bosnia genocide before walking into the mosque and shooting people dead in the corridor and in the main prayer hall; the impression is of a first-person video game. The massacre naturally drew condemnation from around the world, though just as rightly, the sincerity of some of the statements was questioned by many Muslims and our sympathisers.

The attacker published a manifesto, which can be read in full (in image form, no accessibility) here. He describes himself as an eco-fascist, though claims that the country most in keeping with his views is the People’s Republic of China (which is one of the most polluted countries on earth); in answer to what he wants, parrots the “14 Words”; he bemoans the falling birth-rates in western countries and rails against what he calls the “great replacement” of white westerners with “invaders”, principally Muslims. He claims not to hate Muslims as long as they remain in ‘their’ countries; the only Muslims he hates are converts (though most of those he killed were those he called ‘invaders’, from Asia and Africa). He professes admiration for Luca Traini (an Italian mass shooter), Dylan Roof (the racist who carried out the Charleston church massacre), Anders Breivik (the perpetrator of the Utoya massacre in Norway) and Darren Osbourne, who drove a van into a group of Muslims outside Finsbury Park mosque in London in 2017. He calls Breivik “Knight Jusiticiar Breivik” and claims to have had “brief contact” with him and approval for his attack from “fellow knights”. He expects to serve 27 years, the same as Nelson Mandela, and ultimately receive a Nobel Peace Prize.

There are 46,149 Muslims in New Zealand; 1% of the population of 4.7 million. This means that more than 1 in 1,000 of the total Muslim population died in the massacres, and one in 500 is either dead or injured.

Although the ideas expressed in the New Zealand shooter’s manifesto are mostly sourced from the far right, it has been the mainstream Right’s contribution to fostering Islamophobic attitudes that has received the most scrutiny since the massacre, and rightly so as such attitudes expressed in the mainstream media, on the front pages of tabloids, by hosts of radio phone-ins on major local and national radio stations, by columnists in magazines and newspapers who regularly get slots on TV and radio panel shows, help to generate the culture on which the far right’s grievances thrive. Some of the news coverage was downright hypocritical: the Times, for example, hit all the right buttons (calling the attacker a terrorist, for example), yet their reporting has missed no opportunity to stir hostility to Muslims, notably including the false story about a Muslim foster family where a child could not eat pork under their roof, in mid-2017. The Daily Mail attacked Facebook for being the means the murderer used to broadcast live footage of the massacre, yet the paper’s own website published clips of it. Politicians the world over gave the standard condemnations, yet few actually mentioned Muslims or Islamophobia and they were promptly reminded of their policies which had helped to foment hostility or which were themselves xenophobic or Islamophobic, such as Theresa May’s “go home vans” and her boast of a “really hostile environment” for people remaining in the UK illegally, which has led to people being deported having lived here most or all of their lives, in some cases wrongfully.

Sarah Joseph, the BBC radio contributor and founder of Emel magazine, tweeted:

My response was that we would see whether these narratives had some justice or not in light of the Christchurch massacres by the behaviour of politicians and media figures. Would we see a clamping down on xenophobic and intolerant attitudes in the mainstream media or a few days of condemnations followed by a return to the usual bigoted business? Sadly the people being criticised for having been repeatedly bigoted in the years before this, despite their condemnations, have been on the defensive and have in some cases accused their accusers of being the spreaders of hate rather than themselves (Melanie Phillips has done this repeatedly over the last couple of days while Julia Hartley-Brewer, the LBC presenter who had complained in her Daily Express column that the British people were “tired of having Islam thrust in our faces day in, day out”, published an image of the article these words were taken from). Nesrine Malik tweeted several hypocritical condemnations from right-wing politicians or writers, linking to statements or articles containing bigotry or claiming that Islamophobia was a fiction. One might hope that this atrocity will have discredited the current media trope that Islamophobia is a myth, or that it is an invention to muzzle “criticism of the Muslim community” or Islamist politics or terrorism, particularly when everyone accepts that anti-Semitism is real, and that those that point the finger at very mild (real or alleged) prejudice towards Jews should be held to account themselves if they are stoking bigotry against Muslims or anyone else.

We also must understand that the Far Right should not be considered morally or practically equivalent at all to some of the more excitable figures on the Left, particularly the Corbynite wing of the Labour party. To take an example, a couple of weeks ago a Corbyn supporter known as Rachael Swindon had her Twitter account briefly suspended, leading Paul Bernal to write a piece in the Independent warning that people who advocate banning Nazis should beware of having their own freedom of speech jeopardised. The same rules that could be used to chase Nazis off Twitter could just as easily be used, including by Nazis, to silence anyone else and they could probably find a rule that their enemy had broken. Up to a certain point I agree, and my understanding is that people have been suspended for merely swearing at a verified user and for various other acts that could not possibly be deemed abusive. However, Rachael Swindon is not equivalent to “Tommy Robinson” (Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) who is a convicted violent criminal whose demonstrations regularly ended in violence and who, although not a racist as such, whips up hostility to Muslims both through his books and his public speeches; he also intimidates his opponents by doorstepping them in the middle of the night with a bunch of his ‘mates’. In one of his videoed speeches, he pointed to a row of houses near a mosque and claimed that “enemy combatants” lived in them. It needs to be understood that people can be killed as a result of these sorts of false claims.

Finally, there must be an examination of the role of white feminism in spreading the stereotypes which feed Islamophobia: the stereotypes of Muslims as stubbornly backward and of Muslim men in particular as being sex-crazed and liable to assault a white woman in the street. These are particularly prevalent in Europe and gained momentum after the Cologne New Year incident a few years ago in which a number of women were sexually assaulted in a public square and the incident was blamed on Arabs and although this was shown to be inaccurate, the claims have been repeated again and again, including by some prominent feminists, and have become a staple of far-right agitation in Germany and elsewhere. White feminists insistently and dogmatically repeat such narratives as that the hijab worn by Muslim women are a ‘symbol’ of women’s inferiority to men, so as to justify discriminating against women who wear the hijab and to force them to remove it at work, in public places or school; they refuse to listen to what Muslim women say about their own religion and the way they dress, insisting that the “white way” of doing anything must be the rational or enlightened way. I have a term for this mentality: “enwhitenment”. The stereotypes about sex-crazed Arab men echo older stereotypes about Black men, as some readers may have already noted. The protection of white women has been a routine justification for violence against non-white people since the time of slavery; the Christchurch terrorist had “for Rotherham” and the name of a young girl killed in a terrorist attack in Sweden written in white on his rifle or his magazines.

We must not forget that his motive was hatred. A prominent British white feminist, hours after the massacres (Friday morning, UK time) tweeted: “Please let there come a time when male violence is recognised as the single biggest threat to peace and tackled accordingly”. This is not the first time I have seen a white woman try to divert discussion of a male-on-male racist murder onto “male violence” when the root of this violence is a racist ideology which white women are heavily involved in spreading, especially where Muslims are the targets; white women have also been keen participants in far right groups, notably Britain First, often using feminist justifications. When a white man sprays bullets at a group of mostly male members of a minority, some of whom defend themselves and their friends by throwing objects at him and attempting to use his discarded weapons, to leap to bemoaning “male violence” smacks of the victim blaming feminists spend much of their time railing against; the victims are lumped in with the perpetrator. I had a feminist lecture me that “it’s hugely inappropriate for men to tell women when they’re allowed to talk about male violence” but it’s more inappropriate for a white person to divert discussion of racism onto their pet issue, especially when the news of an atrocity is just breaking in most of the world.

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The Guardian World news: Islam - 15 March, 2019 - 17:05

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