Stop Weaponizing the New Zealand Mosque Attacks

Published March 25th, 2019 - 02:24 GMT
New Zealanders pay their respects to the 50 victims of the Christchurch attacks. (AFP)
New Zealanders pay their respects to the 50 victims of the Christchurch attacks. (AFP)

It has been almost two weeks on the mass shootings of 50 people at two mosques in Christchurch, yet New Zealand, as well as the Muslim world, are still grieving the loss of life.

New Zealand’s government went to take quick actions to reassure such an attack will never take place again in the peaceful country. They also announced it was proceeding with new laws to ban "military-style" semi-automatic firearms like those used by the gunman who attacked the two mosques.

For New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, she vowed to never say the name of the terrorist who carried out the crime. She was also hailed among the Muslim community in New Zealand when she visited the victims’ families wearing her headscarf in addition to her participation in Friday’s prayer service in New Zealand during which the victims were buried.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people in different parts of the world and from different faiths stood in support with Muslims proving humanity is bigger no matter of people’s background.

However, as many people agreed on the fact that the priority should be given to telling and remembering stories of the victims more than anything else, some people had another opinion.

In fact, some have seen in the attacks a chance they can exploit for their own benefit or for their communities’:

On the internet, many went to debate whether PM Ardern is exploiting the current situation in her country to her own political benefit. However, whether it was true or not, she succeeded in showing support and solidarity to Muslims in a time they were targeted by the racism in other parts of the world.

Few days after the attacks, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also gone to one of his campaign rallies and showed clips from the terrorist attack seeking to crowd support for his party in local elections.

Other extremists in the UK have also seen a chance to vandalize mosques in the wake of New Zealand’s terrorist attacks. UK media reported on Sunday that a sixth Birmingham mosque has been targeted by vandals, their aims are not clear yet, however, some suggested they might be using the media’s preoccupation of New Zealand’s attack to carry out such random violence.

In the UAE, Twitter users have been criticizing the UAE for featuring Ardren wearing a headscarf and supporting a Muslim woman with the word "سلام Peace" on Burj Khalifa.

Meanwhile, a national bookstore has been accused of using the attacks to censor books after it has announced pulling a book written by Canadian Jordan Peterson, following the Christchurch mosque massacres as they believed  “it would be wrong to support the author at this time”.



Read More: Four Ways the Internet Responded to the Christchurch Terror Attacks

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