World view – Sunday

Saturday GMT


For posting on events, news, opinions and anything of interest from around the world.

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  1. Gezza

     /  17th March 2019

    Social media users have condemned Western tabloid newspapers for their coverage of the New Zealand mosque attacks and their attempts to “humanise” the main suspect. 

    At least 49 people were killed and 40 others were injured in the twin attacks by Australian suspect Brenton Tarrant, 28, who allegedly shot dozens of worshippers in the New Zealand district of Christchurch. 

    Labelling him an “angelic boy who grew into an evil far-right mass killer” British tabloid, the Daily Mirror, released a photo of Tarrant as a young boy and described him as “a likeable and dedicated personal trainer running free athletic programmes for kids”.

    Reacting to the coverage, British columnist Owen Jones condemned the tabloid’s coverage saying it had displaced the focus from the victims to the perpetrator, who he called a “terrorist”. 
    … … …

    I still don’t know the name of the terrorist. Nor do I care to know it.

    Following the carnage at two Christchurch mosques in New Zealand on Friday, that debilitating grip of anger mixed with fear, anxiety coupled with hate, crept in. I rushed, minutes after learning about the massacre, to uncover the motive, glean through the manifesto, and grapple with the vile white supremacy that drove the terrorist.  

    Then I stopped. I realised, after sifting through the bleak headlines and darker social media posts, that his broader objective was reeling us in. Seducing us into examining his very word, affixing our eyes to his image and video of the massacre, and most lastingly, memorising his name.

    This was the bigger mission that followed the massacre. He wanted us spellbound. Lured into humanising every dimension of his being, and every vile sliver of his act, in place of the victims. Their lives, their stories, and most notably, their names.
    All 49 of them.

    Again, I stopped, turned my attention from the terrorist and fully onto the victims.
    … … … …

    While I in some ways understand why these writers have written these articles, I disagree with their opinions.

    Tarrant is not being in any way glorified or his heinous crime being minimised by his being “humanised”. He is universally reviled as a cold, repulsive, monster by all decent people in New Zealand & elsewhere in the world.

    As are all terrorists who carry out similar attacks including suicide bombings and attacks on innocent people in the name of Islamic fundamentalism or sectarianism or any kind of ideological hatred anywhere in the world.

    Exactly the same sort of investigation & publication of details the background history, and comments from shocked & disbelieving neighbours & people who knew them, are routinely published in Western media. Shocked Western populations, often including attack survivors, & victims’ relatives, want to know everything they can about who these hate-filled killers are & how in God’s name they become mass murderers.

    There are always plenty of reports about the victims & the personal tragedies of their friends, families, and survivors, as well. As there should be.

    The more we know about killers like Brevik & Tarrant the more we are revolted by them & the more we learn about what to look out for in our societies. Western countries by and large are not so riven with sectarian & religious hatreds that such massacres are so commonplace the perpetrators can simply be dismissed as of no consequence & we should learn nothing about them.

    This man Tarrant is the Western equivalent of a member of Al Qaeda, ISIS, Al Shabab, Boko Haram, The Kosovo Serbian Army or someone influenced by them. But he is just one individual, not one of a whole armed, murderous group of thousands. And not one of hundreds of thousands protesting in the streets, screaming that some Christian woman in Pakistan should be put to death for false claims that she insulted the prophet of Islam.

    This is not a good time for me to be saying this. But it is not a good time for them to be saying that. These criticisms in AlJazeera are sorely misplaced. They do not help matters.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  17th March 2019

      I think that it will be helpful to discover how someone who was all those things was also a heartless killer. Later. Now is just not the time !

  2. Patzcuaro

     /  17th March 2019

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  17th March 2019

      Well, yes; one can’t buy arsenic and cyanide over the counter now.

      I can’t think of an example of another product, but let’s say that weedkiller made with a particular ingredient could be sprayed neat into a room and kill or disable the people in it….that ingredient would be banned after the first such use.

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