Expel extremist white groups from Australia and New Zealand.

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Expel White Extremist Groups and Individuals from Australia.

At 1.40pm local time, a man who identified himself as Brenton Tarrant burst into a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, and possibly another, shooting and killing upwards of dozens of panicked and huddled Muslim worshippers at point-blank range shortly before Friday prayers began, laughing insanely as he carried out what can only be described as IS-level violence.

We know this much because the Australian gunman live-streamed his grotesque terrorist attack to his Facebook account.


What we do know about Tarrant, however, at least based on his social media accounts, is his profile reads as the sum total of every counter-terrorism practitioner's and academic's fear, one that law-enforcement agencies throughout the Western hemisphere have long warned to be the No. 1 terror threat: right-wing extremism.

More specifically, Tarrant represents the dangerous convergence between broken white men and extreme right-wing media, bearing in mind that 100 per cent of all terrorist attacks carried out on US soil in 2018 were carried out by right-wing extremists, with the Southern Poverty Law Centre crediting a “toxic combination of political polarisation, anti-immigrant sentiment and modern technologies that help spread propaganda online”.

These kind of attacks are being carried out in increased frequency and ferocity in mosques, synagogues, and black churches throughout the Western world, with a notable common denominator: the gunmen are always white, male and fuelled by consumption of right-wing media.

“Well, it's time to stop shitposting and time to make a real life effort post. I will carry out an attack against the invaders, and will even live stream the attack via Facebook link,” Tarrant warned on the far-right online forum 8Chan on Thursday, which included links to what he called his “writings”.

On Friday, the Masjid Al Noor Mosque became a scene of a mass shooting.

Photo: George Heard/Stuff
A day earlier, he posted a photo of his semi-automatic weapon on Twitter, with the words “Here’s your migration compact!” etched onto the butt of his assault rifle.

Essentially, his manifesto mimics the same kind of anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, and anti-leftist views expressed by the Norwegian right-wing extremist Anders Breivik, who shot dead 77 Norwegian students in what he described as his protest against Europe’s liberal and multicultural values.

“Merkel [German Chancellor], the mother of all things anti-white and anti-germanic, is top of the list. Few have done more to damage and racially cleanse Europe of its people,” reads the opening excerpt to Tarrant’s manifesto titled “The Great Replacement”. That is a reference to the same “white genocide” theory that drove the Pittsburgh Synagogue shooter, who killed 11 Jewish worshippers in October of last year.

 

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In another post, Tarrant provides his social media followers a series of questions and answers, in which he claims conservative pundit Candace Owens, a darling of the far right, to be the “particular person” who radicalised him the “most”.

“Each time she spoke I was stunned by her insights and her own views helped push me further and further into the belief of violence over meekness,” Tarrant wrote.

Owens, an African American, is feted by far-right activists and white nationalists for praising the US President as the “saviour” of the West, and for warning Europe will soon be overrun by Muslims, while also not forgetting her recent statement proclaiming Hitler would have been fine if he didn’t want to “globalise”. In other words, the Holocaust was fine. The problem is Hitler invaded other countries.

It was only a decade or two ago that anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant extremists like Owens existed only on the fringe of the media landscape or the corners of the dark web, but today, particularly in the age of Trump, Brexit and the return of ultra-nationalism, they have moved to the mainstream, enjoying platforms on major television networks.

Today, pundits can say and write things about Muslims that would never be published by editors or executive producers. Whereas anti-Semitism, anti-black and anti-Asian racism are rightfully and routinely condemned, Islamophobia remains the only form of racism that remains within socially acceptable limits.

CJ Werleman.



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