A few of my thoughts about the terror attack in Christchurch New Zealand.
The question has been asked why NZ?
The fact that the alleged perpetrator was Australian and had far rightwing, racist allegiances is very relevant to that question.
Political rhetoric in Australia in recent years has developed an ugly racist element. The Guardian article linked below gives a lot of detail of that.
Also see the link to an earlier blog post of mine that refers to the foolish Christian involvement in support of that political direction.
Added to that atmosphere is the difference in gun laws between close neighbours Australia and New Zealand. Many years ago the Australian parliament passed laws that prohibited the kind of fire arm used in the Christchurch attack.
Those guns are legally available in New Zealand, making an attack like the one on Friday easier to carry out against Muslims in New Zealand than it would be in Australia, where the type of weapon used would not be easily obtained.
Combine the Australian political climate that has given traction to far right racist dogma together with the availability of semi-automatic weapons in nearby NZ and I can understand “why New Zealand”.
Yesterday I noticed that the Sunday Telegraph front page had a large photo of a small child, one of the victims of the shootings. The major headline read “Peace Be Upon You” – a common Muslim religious phrase that is used to greet or say farewell to others.
The Sunday Telegraph is one of the Murdoch papers referred to in the Guardian article. The Murdoch press has regularly given a platform for strong anti-Muslim rhetoric from commentators in their weekly columns and I believe that has been instrumental in fomenting a political climate that makes far right extremism more likely.