Vigil for Christchurch

I went to the Dunedin vigil last night. I felt that I should add to the many thousands showing sympathy and solidarity, and I’m glad that I did. The crowd was evidence that the many many New Zealanders feel for the victims, for the families and friends of the victims, for the Muslim community, and for dreadful deed dumped on the New Zealand community.

ODT: A city united

The stadium vigil was organised by the Dunedin City Council and Otago University Amnesty International Group.

Before it began, more than 10,000 students and staff sent a powerful message of solidarity as they walked in spine-tingling silence from the University of Otago to the stadium.

Otago Muslim Association chairman Mohammed Rizwan thanked the crowd – and the city – for its support.

It was hard to comprehend the “tragic” events in Christchurch, not because such terror was new, but “because of how much of ourselves we can see in the people whose lives were taken from us”.

“They were someone’s loved one, someone’s family – our family.”

The perpetrator had hoped to terrorise the community and the world “but he failed”.

“He failed because he chose us … because we gather here tonight united as one whanau,” he said, as the crowd applauded.

We all needed to be better, as people and a community, but out of such tragedy had come courage, strength and unity.

“With so much love from you, so much aroha, each day there’s a little less darkness,” he said.

The stadium vigil also included a karakia by Matapura Ellison, of Ngai Tahu, a waiata, prayers by other religious representatives and performances by the Otepoti Peace Choir.

The crowd left with the words of Dr Mai Tamimi, a Muslim community representative, ringing in their ears.

“There’s no place for hate among us … just love and peace.”

It was a coming together of many religious denominations – and those of us who don’t have religious beliefs. Strength in unity.

There are a number of other things happening around the country today, a week after the atrocities were committed against the people of New Zealand.

I may not post here for most or the rest of the day.

If you want to express sympathy or support then please do so.

WARNING – any comments on this thread that try to dump on any person or group, or try to promote agendas contrary to the spirit of this thread,  will be deleted, and the privilege of commenting without vetting here will be lost for the day at least.

There are hard questions we need to try and answer, there are challenging issues we need to try to address, and valid criticisms can be made but this is not the place for that.

This thread is dedicated to those people who were callously murdered  a week ago, to their families, friends, acquaintances, to the police, emergency services and public who helped, to the Muslim community in New Zealand, and to all New Zealanders who feel the enormity of what happened in our country.

Vigil for Christchurch.

 

Significant but not drastic firearm law changes

The Government have announced a significant ban on ‘military style’ semi-automatic firearms and magazines, effective immediately, but have given practical semi-automatics such as .22 and shotguns a reprieve. More stringent licensing requirements and measures will be introduced later, and a buyback scheme is yet to be announced.

I think this is as far as the Government could reasonably go in a very short timeframe, and most legitimate firearm users should be happy with this. It looks good banning ‘military weapons’ but doesn’t go as far as some people wanted.

Order in Council:  Arms (Military Style Semi-automatic Firearms) Order 2019

Federated Farmers approve:

There has been a strong positive reaction from the US.


New Zealand bans military style semi-automatics and assault rifles

  • Military style semi-automatics and assault rifles banned under stronger gun laws
  • Immediate action to prevent stock-piling

Military style semi-automatics and assault rifles will be banned in New Zealand under stronger new gun laws announced today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says.

“On 15 March our history changed forever. Now, our laws will too. We are announcing action today on behalf of all New Zealanders to strengthen our gun laws and make our country a safer place,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“Cabinet agreed to overhaul the law when it met on Monday, 72 hours after the horrific terrorism act in Christchurch. Now, six days after this attack, we are announcing a ban on all military style semi-automatics (MSSA) and assault rifles in New Zealand.

“Related parts used to convert these guns into MSSAs are also being banned, along with all high-capacity magazines.

“An amnesty will be put in place for weapons to be handed in, and Cabinet has directed officials to develop a buyback scheme. Further details will be announced on the buyback in due course.

“All semi-automatic weapons used during the terrorist attack on Friday 15 March will be banned.

“I strongly believe that the vast majority of legitimate gun owners in New Zealand will understand that these moves are in the national interest, and will take these changes in their stride.

“When Australia undertook similar reforms, their approach was to allow for exemptions for farmers upon application, including for pest control and animal welfare. We have taken similar action to identify the weapons legitimately required in those areas, and preclude them.

“Legislation to give effect to the ban will be introduced when Parliament sits in the first week of April. We will provide a short, sharp Select Committee process for feedback on the technical aspects of the changes. We are looking to progress the amendments to this legislation under urgency and expect these amendments to the Arms Act to be passed within the next session of Parliament,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“The Bill will include narrow exemptions for legitimate business use, which would include professional pest control. Police and the Defence Force will also have exemptions. Issues like access for mainstream international sporting competitions are also being worked through,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said.

“We have also acknowledged that some guns serve legitimate purposes in our farming communities, and have therefore set out exemptions for 0.22 calibre rifles and shotguns commonly used for duck hunting. These will have limitations around their capacity.

“While the legislation is being drafted, I am announcing the Government will take immediate action today to restrict the potential stock-piling of these guns and encourage people to continue to surrender their firearms.

Earlier this afternoon, an Order in Council under section 74A(c) of the Arms Act was signed by the Governor-General to reclassify a wider range of semi-automatic weapons under the Act. It came into effect at 3pm today.

“This interim measure will ensure that all of the weapons being banned under amendments to the Arms Act are now categorised as weapons requiring an E endorsement on a firearms licence.

“The effect of this is that it will prevent the sale of MSSAs and assault rifles to people with A category gun licences. The Order in Council is a transitional measure until the wider ban takes effect.

“We are introducing transitionary measures for gun owners to hand in their guns to Police to hold until details of a buy-back are announced. Likewise, the Police continue to accept guns for destruction.

“Again, we encourage gun owners to phone in to Police ahead of time to advise them they are bringing their guns in to the station,” Stuart Nash said.

“The actions announced today are the first step of the Government’s response. We will continue to develop stronger and more effective licensing rules, storage requirements and penalties for not complying with gun regulations. It is the Government’s intention that these amendments will go through the full legislative process,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“To owners who have legitimate uses for their guns, I want to reiterate that the actions being announced today are not because of you, and are not directed at you. Our actions, on behalf of all New Zealanders, are directed at making sure this never happens again.”

 

 

“Tolerance New Zealand’s real religion”

It should be, but there are still a lot of people who don’t follow it. We should acknowledge that we can all be intolerant, but can all work towards better understanding of and tolerance of other people, other cultures, other religions.

ODT editorial:  Tolerance New Zealand’s real religion

White nationalists, Islamophobes and other hate groups openly extol a clear goal – to separate ”them” from ”us”. In the wake of Friday’s terrorist attack, it seems prudent to confront the myth some believe in: that when it comes to religion in this country, there has never been an ”us”.

Evidence indicates the first humans to set foot in Aotearoa were Eastern Polynesian settlers some 800 years ago who brought religious beliefs with them.

Those beliefs centred around the idea that, through genealogy, all things were connected – hills, rivers, animals, plants – to the Maori themselves. Yet within the several hundred years Maori lived here before European settlement, the way those beliefs were expressed was already evolving and diverging.

Europeans arrived with a variety of takes on monotheism. Catholicism and Protestantism were the major players, but there were others.

The State, of course, was an extension of the British Crown and, as such, it is easy to look back at the last hundred or so years of New Zealand history and conclude we are, and have been, a Christian country.

But the beliefs of those who have settled here, who have journeyed to one of the most far-flung land masses on Earth and made a life for themselves, are far more varied than that. In reality, we have never been a solely Christian country. Since the arrival of Europeans, we have been a nation of multiple religions.

And agnostics and atheists.

A major fallacy in the argument of those wanting New Zealand to ”remain” or ”return” to being as culturally, ethnically or religiously ”pure” as it always was is that New Zealand has never been mono-ethnic, mono-religious or mono-cultural. And it never will. Because our national genealogy is not one of ”purity”.

Far from it. we are a diverse mix of cultures, nationalities, races and religions.

Islam is an ancient religion, born from the same part of the world Christianity was, just a few hundred years later. It is widely practised around the world and has as much right to be considered ”normal” in New Zealand as any other religion does.

Yes, there are radical arms of Islam. There are radical arms of Christianity, too. And of football fans, environmentalists and many more groups besides. It takes an appalling negligence of consideration to believe only the radical arms of a large group of people define that group.

Generalising is common. Like Christians. Muslims. Maori. Asians. Europeans. Colonialists.

All are quite varied, diverse, and there are often mixes and blends.

It is absurd for any New Zealanders to believe Islam has less right to be practised freely, safely and given respect in this country than other religions. Muslim New Zealanders are simply New Zealanders who practise a religion. Religions, while culpable for many unpleasant aspects of history, also bring meaning, stability, guidance and context to billions of people.

We are not a Christian country, despite being a country of many Christians.

We are not a religious country, though we are a country of many religions.

In fact, if there was to be any ”religion” that defined New Zealand, it should be a religious devotion to inclusivity, tolerance and openness.

Let that be the New Zealand religion and, in our pursuit of it, let’s ensure Muslim New Zealanders know, feel and trust they are, now and forever, simply Kiwis.

We all have to work hard on accepting differences, and tolerance.

 

Chief Censor confirms video “is an illegal, harmful and reprehensible record created to promote a terrorist cause”

As far as I know two people have been arrested and charged with distributing the video of the Christchurch mosque terrorist killings. The Chief censor has stated:

Chief Censor David Shanks has officially classified the full 17 minute video of the fatal Christchurch shootings which occurred on Friday 15 March, as objectionable.

It is illegal for anyone in New Zealand to view, possess or distribute this material in any form, including via social media platforms.

“We’re aware that for a time after the attacks, this video was widely available on social media and many New Zealanders saw it, sometimes without meaning to”.

“Its important people are now clear they should not view, download or share the video”, says Mr Shanks.

And:

“Every New Zealander should now be clear that this clip is an illegal, harmful and reprehensible record created to promote a terrorist cause. If you have a record of it, you must delete it. If you see it, you should report it. Possessing or distributing it is illegal, and only supports a criminal agenda.”

Guidance from Chief Censor

Chief Censor David Shanks is providing more guidance regarding the 17 minute video of the fatal Christchurch shootings, which has been classified objectionable.

Some members of the public and the media are now seeking clarification on what that decision means for edited clips and still images taken from the video.

There are also concerns being raised around the potential for criminal charges against people who viewed or forwarded on the video during the period that it was widely available on various forums in the hours after the attack.

“While we do not have the numbers yet, it is clear that this video was ‘pushed’ to many innocent New Zealanders by various apps. We have had reports that it also ‘auto-played’ for some people who did not even know what it was,” says Mr Shanks.

“The video will also have been likely passed on by people in the immediate aftermath, before they had any opportunity to reflect on what it was and what impact it might have on people.”

It is now clearer as to what this video is, and its legal status has been determined. Mr Shanks says it is a record of a terrorist atrocity, specifically produced for the purpose of promoting a hateful terrorist agenda. It has almost certainly been harmful to many who have viewed it, and will likely continue to cause harm.

“Enforcement around objectionable material is a primary responsibility of the Department of Internal Affairs, and I have discussed with them the need for a balanced approach to enforcement in this case.”

“I don’t think New Zealanders innocently caught up in the social media storm following these horrific events need to be concerned. The enforcement focus will likely be on those actively and maliciously involved in spreading this material, and taking actions such as deliberately distorting it to avoid blocks and detection software,” says Mr Shanks.

“Every New Zealander should now be clear that this clip is an illegal, harmful and reprehensible record created to promote a terrorist cause. If you have a record of it, you must delete it. If you see it, you should report it. Possessing or distributing it is illegal, and only supports a criminal agenda.”

In terms of excerpts or stills taken from the video, Shanks noted that the classification of the complete video set did not automatically mean that any image or short extract from it was also objectionable.

“However it is very important for people to be aware that any edited clips, screenshots or still images taken from the full video, that depict scenes of violence, injury or death, or that promote terrorism, may well also be objectionable,” says Chief Censor David Shanks.

Shanks noted that given the horrific circumstances of this attack, and the clear deliberate strategy to use media to disseminate a terrorist message, news media and all New Zealanders needed to carefully consider the impact of sharing, broadcasting or publishing any part of this video.

“New Zealand’s news organisations have needed to make ethical judgements about what images they broadcast and print, and I think there is growing awareness about the potential impacts and harms of some of this material, and the need to balance this with the public’s right to information.”

In particular, I’m thinking here of survivors of the attack, victim’s families and friends, those in the Muslim community, those affected in Christchurch and others who have already been traumatised by the attacks last Friday,” says Mr Shanks.

“The bottom line is that even if something isn’t illegal, it may still cause harm to others and we all have a responsibility as citizens to consider that”, says Mr Shanks.

If you see footage of this nature online, report it immediately.

To report harmful content on Twitter, click here.

To report harmful content on Facebook, click here.

To report harmful content on Instagram, click here.

To report harmful content on YouTube, click here.

Any harmful content should also be reported to the Department of Internal Affairs, click here.

Erdogan and Islamic State escalations

Worrying attempts at escalations by President of turkey Erdogan, and a warning by ISIS.

Also:

That won’t be good for tourism in Turkey.

NZ Herald: Turkish President warns NZ over mosque attacks, invokes Gallipoli

Will any Kiwis risk going to ANZAC events there this year?

And there is also news coming out from NY Times that Islamic State has issued a warning over the Christchurch attacks.

 

 

The rise of the ‘alt-right’

I don’t think ‘alt-right’ is a good descriptive term, but it is what is being used to describe a growing problem around the world, with strands of it evident in New Zealand – most starkly with the Christchurch mosque terror attacks last Friday.

It is more of a form of political and social extremism, with large dollops of intolerance of cultural and religious differences, and it doesn’t just come from the far right of the political spectrum.

There are also issues of political and social extremism from the left, with large dollops of intolerance of different leanings or opinions. That’s largely a different story, but the two are connected.

David Fishers ‘Big Read’:  ‘Lone wolf’ killers the hardest terrorist to find – and our spies had yet to finish their plan to tackle far-right extremism

We were at the tail end of a Five Eyes shift towards the threat of far-right extremism.

In the US last year, 73 per cent of extremist-related killings were by domestic far-right extremists.

Hate crimes in Canada increased 47 per cent in 2017 – in May that year a young man with a handgun walked into a mosque and shot dead six worshippers, wounding 19 others.

In Australia, there has been a recorded surge in membership of far-right extremist groups.

The UK’s MI5 – the domestic intelligence agency – took over as the lead agency combating the rise in far-right extremism in October amid an increasing number of alleged plots.

A particular difficulty is not just identifying extremist groups, small bobbles in size and number in a vast ocean, but also evaluating actual risk as opposed to relatively harmless ranting.

…there is work to identify the people inside who actually want to do something.

Clive Williams, former Director of Security Intelligence for Australia’s Defence Intelligence Organisation, says the groups themselves don’t necessarily pose a threat.

Far-right extremists may present as “a small number of hate-filled people who weren’t going to do anything more than march”.

But as we have seen it only takes one to inflict a major amount of human damage.

Peeling back the onion, there will be those who go beyond marching and offer financial support to an organisation. Another layer in, you find those who talk of direct action and, further still, those few who will actually take action.

At the time Ball worked for the NZSIS, the criteria for focus was set by “intent over capability”.

He offers a scenario to explain. If someone posted a comment online saying: “I don’t like you and I’m going to get you,” it would signal intent.

Someone presenting in this way wouldn’t necessarily rise in an agency’s radar.

If the comment was accompanied by a photograph of the poster holding a weapon, it would show intent and capability then escalate in importance.

“There are going to be times when the intelligence information is just not available … (when) you’ve got an individual who’s not connected to anyone.

Intelligence agencies in other Western countries hit by “lone wolf” attacks have found, after months of investigation into incidents, terrorists have brushed up against or been in contact with others who held similar beliefs, or been identified as someone of concern to law enforcement.

It is those areas where intelligence operations hope their tripwires – if set in the right place – will sound an alarm.

In the case of the Christchurch attacker, he was apparently active in online forums. He bought at least four firearms and a lot of ammunition over the internet from Gun City and another from a Dunedin sporting goods shop.

There has to be some sort of warning system based on firearms and ammunition buying patterns.

A former NZ Army soldier, now a hunter, spoke of his frustration of reporting concerns about behaviour at the Bruce Rifle Club outside Dunedin, where the Christchurch attacker practised shooting.

Williams, now an associate professor at the Australian National University and the Australian Defence Force Academy, said similar concerns in other countries had prompted alerts.

“The problem with any loner attack is they have minimal contact with people. Then they flip and decide to do something.

“You must have had people he communicated with, if not physically then online.”

Ball: “The challenge is trying to put the dots together. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.”

It is a huge challenge identifying the right dots and putting them together. There will be times when this just won’t be successful – we have to accept that.

It was with the benefit of hindsight academics Sophia Moskalenko and Clark McCauley wrote a paper called “The psychology of a lone wolf”, having studied two dissimilar cases of attackers who planned then carried out solo attacks.

They found the factors which inspired “lone wolf” attacks were incredibly difficult for intelligence agencies to identify.

Their research found those attackers beliefs were grounded in not only identifying with a group of which they felt part, but also identifying an alternative party which they believed threatened their identity fellowship.

This described many people. It describes alt-right groups of white nationalists who rant about immigration.

The mystery, the researcher said, was what separated those who would take action from others who did nothing.

They found there was a common theme in the cases they studied. They found a specific incident or situation which turned what had been a political position into something which was very personal.

“In short, we suspect that lone-wolf terrorism requires the combination of strong capacity for sympathy with an experience that moves sympathy to personal moral obligation to act.”

The researchers don’t explain this as if it makes the action valid, simply describing the thought process in the killers’ heads.

The Christchurch shooter’s so-called “manifesto” identified a period of time where his political beliefs became personal. If that is genuine, he wrote of travelling in France during April 2017 and May 2017 as the time when he decided to carry out an attack.

The researchers Moskalenko and McCauley found the combination of “personality and personal experience” be extremely difficult for those trying to profile such attackers.

It was possible to discover those with extreme political leanings, they wrote. Understanding what was in their heads was a far more complicated task.

Especially in advance of them carrying out a dirty deed.

But once he made that decision, there were possible warning signs. Some of these can possibly be detected through better systems, like monitoring firearms buying patterns. More notice could also be taken of unusual behaviour online or in places like gun clubs.

But this poses big challenges, with a likelihood that efforts to prevent terrorist acts can never be completely successful. However it is important that as much as is possible and practical to do is done to keep us safe.

And I think that labels like ‘alt-right’ are not helpful, as they ostracise many who just have particular political views but are no threat, and if the focus is too tight it gives plenty of room for missing real threats.

‘The Great Replacement’ promoted at Whale Oil

This isn’t about a 73-page manifesto titled “The Great Replacement”, a reference to the Great Replacement and white genocide conspiracy theories that expresses anti-immigrant sentiments including hate speech against migrants, white supremacist rhetoric, and calls for all non-European immigrants in Europe who he claims are “invading his land” to be removed.

It’s about The Great Replacement by Intern Staff on September 21, 2017

Voting for the leadership of this country may well be influenced by what is happening elsewhere. Jacinda, childless, pro-abortion, is up against Bill, with a family of six, with RC views on abortion. I have a thing about childless leaders of nations and many of these can be found in Europe. It is not news that demographics there are changing.

It is news to me to see it being called “The Great Replacement”. In a way, there is an absurd contrast to “The Great War” which continues to observe centenary commemorations. Millions killed in fighting then contrast with millions not present due to birth control and abortion.

To fill the vacuum comes others whose only “war” is against the poverty they flee from.

The invasion is changing Europe.

Imagine being fined 2000 euros for telling the truth. That’s what happened last week to Robert Ménard; one of Marine Le Pen’s key advisers. Ménard was charged with “inciting hatred” against Muslims because of two things:

  1. During a television interview, Ménard claimed that there were too many Muslim children attending the schools where he lives. He advised: “In one of the classrooms in my town centre, 91% of children are Muslim. Obviously this is a problem. There are limits to tolerance.”
  2. Ménard also shared an image on Twitter which compared a school in 1970, to a school now. On his tweet, Ménard referred to the “Great Replacement”; a term which was coined by Renaud Camus which suggests that France is being colonised by Muslim immigrants with the help of the government and the media.

It’s about  An Ant’s Story by Guest Post on February 2, 2019

New Zealand Sovereignty is a movement that hopes to harness the passion and determination of the countless New Zealanders who have had enough.

Please, do not listen to those who shake their head and say “this can’t work” or “things are moving too slowly.” These are the voices of the ants that remain in the shadows and outskirts…they are not the worker ants.

For me, the Molyneux/Southern debacle and the attack on free speech was the first time I REALLY saw red. As it happened I saw them in Melbourne, and had hoped to go here as well. In Oz there were hundreds of police out that night, a secret location, horseback cavalry, dogs…you name it. I saw buses being rocked and purple haired SJWs screaming like lunatics…

And of course then there was also Tommy Robinson. I became an avid follower of his journey. I also read The Strange Death of Europe by Douglas Murray” (a must read) and followed Molyneux, Turley, Rebel Media, Katie Hopkins, Martin Sellner and all the other countless warriors in Europe and the States.

I read voraciously about Islam and what this ideology means for the West, for Christians and for the Jewish people. My grandad fought in WWI in the middle east, against the Ottoman invasion.

The Great Replacement (by stealth) is STILL an invasion and it is war….though it is happening by stealth rather than the sword.

My guess, our New Zealand ant colony has until the next election to turn this around. After that, I suspect we will see UN ships and planes as a regular occurrence in our ports and airports and Islam will take hold to the point where what you have seen in Europe will happen here.

This lil ant shouts NO to Sharia Law and YES to controlled immigration. We need people who will respect our Judeo Christian heritage and laws.  Islam is not compatible with this.

So yes, you could say, after 2018 and the waves of attack on free speech (there was the Massey University affair as well)…something inside me said “Enough now.”

So I threw my hat in the ring 110% and I ask you now to do the same.

Eighteen months of your life – what can you do to help? Your skills? Do you have a boat? We may need a flotilla one day. Just imagine, if a UN ship came into New Zealand waters and we sent out 100 boats to block the harbour.

That’s what was promoted at Whale Oil last month. That was before the great replacement of the whale himself.

It wasn’t the whale who posted this:

What do France, Germany, The Netherlands and Britain have in common? by SB on December 24, 2016

What do France, Germany and The Netherlands have in common? They all have criminalised the free speech of their politicians. In Britain, the same thing is happening to political activists and even ordinary citizens expressing their views on Facebook. The one thing that they all have in common is who or what they are criticising. It is becoming increasingly obvious worldwide now that criticism of Islam and Muslims are like Voldermort; we dare not say their name out loud for fear of punishment.

And it continues. Face of the day by SB on March 19, 2019

spanishbride

They are not about to let facts get in the way of their witch hunt. A quick glance at comments on a Newshub article today reveals that the hysteria whipped up by the MSM agst so-called Nazis is spreading rapidly.

Also this morning – Christchurch mosque shootings: Pig heads delivered to mosque in 2016

The mosque at the centre of Friday’s horrific massacre in Christchurch was previously subjected to the delivery of boxes of pigs heads by Hitler-saluting men who boasted “Bring on the cull”.

Video, intended to be shared within the 20-strong cell of local neo-Nazis, emerged online over the weekend showing tradesman Philip Neville Arps delivering the offal – pig meat is considered unclean by Muslims – to the Masjid Al-Noor mosque in March 2016.

In the videos – seemingly prepared to record and propagandise the activity amongst the group – Arps said the incident had led to an appearance in the Christchurch District Court where he was convicted of offensive behaviour and fined $800.

“It was a deliberate attack, and deliberate offence against Muslims, were the judge’s words. Obviously the judge knows me well,” Arps said while his cameraman sniggered.

“White power, my friends, my family, my people. Let’s get these f***ers out. Bring on the cull.”

Later in the day (Stuff): Nazi-themed company owner charged with possessing objectionable material

The owner of a Christchurch insulation company that promotes Nazi themes has been charged with distributing objectionable material.

Stuff understands the Avonside home of company owner Phil Arps was raided by police on Tuesday.

When asked to confirm this, a police spokesman said police executed a search warrant at an Avonside address at 11am.

“A 44-year-old man was charged with distributing objectionable material. He is scheduled to appear at Christchurch District Court tomorrow.”

Beneficial Insulation, which Arps owns, features a number of Nazi-related themes in its name and branding.

The company’s white extremist branding and Arps’ racist views, which he promotes online, sparked a public outcry in the wake of the mass shooting in Christchurch that left 50 people dead with another 30 still in hospital.

Stuff has also sighted an angry email from Beneficial Insulation owner Phil Arps sent to a customer which was signed off with a false Adolf Hitler quote and featured right wing extremist views.

Beneficial Insulation’s company logo is a sunwheel, or black sun, which was appropriated by Nazis.

Beneficial Insulation also charges $14.88 per metre for insulation – 14.88 is a hate symbol popular with white extremists.

The company’s website www.BIIG.co.nz, is an acronym for the company’s full name Beneficial Insulation Installs Guaranteed. BIIg was the name of a barracks at Auschwitz concentration camp, operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland during World War II and the Holocaust.

There’s nothing great about all of this.

White supremacists, racism and anti-immigration rhetoric

There’s a number of things that need to be talked about more in the wake of the Christchurch terror attacks, like white supremacists (including cultural and religious supremacists), racism and anti immigration rhetoric and immigrant bashing.

Richard MacManus (Newsroom):  We didn’t watch white supremacists closely enough

After the tragedy in Christchurch last Friday, serious questions are being asked of the world’s largest social media companies.

Why was the killer able to live stream this appalling act on Facebook for 17 minutes? Why couldn’t YouTube and Twitter prevent copies of the video from being propagated on their global networks? Why did Reddit have a forum named ‘watchpeopledie’ (another place where this horrendous video was posted) running on its platform for seven whole years?

To answer these questions, we need to look at the content moderation processes of Facebook, Google and others, plus examine the effectiveness of using algorithms to help police content.

The biggest issue though is that neither human nor AI moderation is much help in the case of live streams. The only viable solution, it seems to me, is to prevent people like Friday’s terrorist from live streaming in the first place.

One suspects the tech companies will need to work closely with government intelligence agencies to identify, monitor and proactively shut down people who use social media to distribute hate content.

Before Friday, the response to that would’ve been just two words: “free speech.” But we’re no longer talking about the trivial matter of two right-wing provocateurs being prevented from speaking in New Zealand. We’re now talking about preventing extreme terrorist violence in our country. I think our former Prime Minister Helen Clark said it best, in regards to free speech:

“We all support free speech, but when that spills over into hate speech and propagation of violence, it has gone far too far. Such content is not tolerated on traditional media; why should it be on #socialmedia?”

Why indeed. So let’s fix this, by advocating for meaningful change at companies like Facebook, Google, Twitter and Reddit in how they deal with hate speech.

And local websites – including the biggest political blogs, Kiwiblog and Whale Oil.

Thomas Coughlan (Newsroom):  Time to recall MPs’ anti-migrant rhetoric

Hansard, the record of parliamentary speeches, has 139 mentions of the word “Muslim”, 317 of the word “Islam”, and 238 mentions of the word “Islamic” in its searchable record, which dates back to 2003.

In that same time, only one politician — Aaron “do you know I am?” Gilmore, as fate would have it — has mentioned “white supremacy”, and none have spoken about “white nationalism”.

Other religions are mentioned too — the word “Christian” is mentioned 520 times. But look a little closer, and a distinct difference emerges. While mentions of the word “Christian” tend to be followed by words like “Social Services” more than half of the 238 times, the word “Islam” is mentioned it is followed by the word “State”.

New Zealand is not immune from the global trend of conflating Islam and its nearly two billion adherents with terrorism.

Dr Mohamed Alansari of the University of Auckland noted that when people speak about Islam “it comes with a hint of judgment or a hint of a stereotype and it comes from a place of fear rather than a place of trying to understand”.

The apparent threat of Islam is often conflated with other issues, including security and migration.

Amongst New Zealand politicians Winston Peters stands out on this.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has a longer history than most when it comes to linking concerns about terrorism to Muslims.

In a 2005 speech titled The End Of Toleranceand delivered in the wake of the London bombings, Peters singled out Muslim migrants for special attention.

He spoke about the “political correctness” in other parties:

“They say – ah yes – but New Zealand has always been a nation of immigrants. They miss a crucial point. New Zealand has never been a nation of Islamic immigrants…”

Peters also suggested that moderate Muslims were operating “hand in glove” with extremists.

His exact words are worth quoting in full:

“This two-faced approach is how radical Islam works – present the acceptable face to one audience and the militant face to another.

“In New Zealand the Muslim community have been quick to show us their more moderate face, but as some media reports have shown, there is a militant underbelly here as well.

“Underneath it all the agenda is to promote fundamentalist Islam.

“Indeed these groups are like the mythical Hydra – a serpent underbelly with multiple heads capable of striking at any time and in any direction.”

He went on to note that “in many parts of the world the Christian faith is under direct threat from radical Islam,” and said that he had sent a letter to all leaders of Islamic groups in New Zealand, calling them to name any “radicals, troublemakers and potential dangers to our society”.

Dame Anne Salmond (NZ Herald): Racist underbelly seethes just beneath surface

After this terrible tragedy, let’s be honest, for once. White supremacy is a part of us, a dark power in the land. In its soft version, it looks bland and reasonable.

The doctrine of white superiority is based on arrogance, and ignorance. Since other cultures, languages and religions are worthless, there’s no need to learn about them. The “others” are dehumanised, making their misery and suffering unreal.

In the present, let’s face it, online, on talkback, in taxis and around dinner tables, the doctrine of white superiority is still alive and well in New Zealand. It’s absolutely right that our Prime Minister should take a stand for kindness and generosity, aroha and manaakitanga in the relations among different groups in our country.

But let’s not pretend there’s not a dark underbelly in New Zealand society.

And let’s not pretend that it doesn’t happen right here.

It’s very challenging encouraging open discussion and debate on important issues while trying to moderate white supremicism and racism and religious attacks.

But these are things we should be talking about – and asking ourselves serious questions about.

And others are also asking serious questions.

 

Gun club burnt down, bomb threats

This is a disturbing development: Kaitaia gun club burns down

Northern fire communications shift manager Scott Osmond said crews were called to the Kaitaia Gun Club on Okahu Downs Rd at 4.15am.

He said a small building about the size of a double garage had burnt down.

Mr Osmond said an investigation into the fire is getting under way.

Police said in a statement that there were no injuries and it was not yet clear if the fire was suspicious. Police are making enquiries.

And this:

Nutters and overreactions are sad but inevitable after major tragedies and crimes.

Government planning firearm law changes, but important questions unanswered

It’s inevitable that New Zealand’s firearm laws are changed in the wake of the Christchurch terror attack. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has made it clear that the Government intends to make changes quickly, and will announce these within a week, but at this stage what is planned is vague.

There is certain to be changes to legal availability of semi-automatic weapons, and I think that most people accept this as necessary to some extent.

But there are fairly good reasons for retaining the ability to lawfully use semi-automatics for some purposes, especially semi-automatic .22 rimfire rifles for pest control (particularly possum control), and also semi-automatic shotguns for fowl control (like geese culling).

Ardern at her post-Cabinet media conference yesterday:

Cabinet today made in-principle decisions around the reform of our gun laws. I intend to give further detail of these decisions to the media and public before Cabinet meets again next Monday. This ultimately means that within 10 days of this horrific act of terrorism, we will have announced reforms which will, I believe, make our community safer.

In the intervening period, we will be working hard and as quickly as we can to finalise some of the details around the decision Cabinet has made today and the consequences of it.

The clear lesson from history around the world is that to make our community safer, the time to act is now. I know that this might for a short period create a small degree of uncertainty amongst some gun owners, including those who possess guns for legitimate reasons, and I particularly acknowledge those in our rural communities. I want to assure you that the work that we are doing is not directed at you.

In fact, I strongly believe that the vast majority of gun owners in New Zealand will agree with the sentiment that change needs to occur. I, in fact, believe that they will be with us.

In the meantime, I want to remind people: you can surrender your gun to the police at any time. In fact I have seen reports that people are, in fact, already doing this.

I applaud that effort, and if you’re thinking about surrendering your weapon, I would encourage you to do so.

I have a semi-automatic .22 and have considered surrendering it, but at this stage have decided to wait. I actually need it over the next few weeks, as it is time to reduce my sheep flock before winter, and a rifle is the best way to start the process. For this I don’t operate it as a semi-automatic as I use low velocity cartridges that have insufficient power to reload – I have to manually clear the spent cartridge and manually reload.

Ardern revealed a little more at her media conference – Government has agreed to gun law changes, will tell public within week

Ardern made the quasi-announcement following an extended Cabinet meeting with ministers on Monday, which was widened to include Confidence and Supply partners the Green Party.

Ardern, who appeared alongside Deputy Prime Minister and NZ First leader Winston Peters, said there was no disagreement around the Cabinet table on the decision.

“Within 10 days of this horrific act of terrorism we will have announced reforms that I think will make New Zealanders safer,” Ardern said.

“In the intervening period we will be working hard and as quickly as we can to finalise some of the details around the decision Cabinet has made today and the consequences of it.”

Ardern said she realised this period would create uncertainty for gun owners. She said the changes would not be aimed at responsible gun owners.

Peters, who has in the past opposed gun law reform, said that on Friday “our whole world changed. And some of our laws will as well”.

Ardern applauded those who had voluntarily surrendered their guns to police since the attack. She advised against prospective gun-owners making purchasing decisions in the coming days.

I presume that is aimed at people thinking of rushing in and purchasing a semi-automatic rifle to beat a ban (I think that is futile and silly), but more generally it is good advice.

I am likely to replace my rifle with a bolt action, but I don’t think now is a good time to rush into that. My rifle is stored safely and securely, ammunition is locked away separately, and only I know how to access it.

As for arguments for retaining some use of semi-automatics, some have been made here at Your NZ.

Andrew:

“Most hunters don’t use semi-automatics – they are a waste of time and bullets for most game shooting.”

This is true for large game. I have no issue all at all making all access to MSSA’s and semi-automatic “rifles” that can take an external magazine restricted. I would not include a .22 rimfire semi-automatic in this list though.

I would have an issue, however, if they banned semi-auto shotguns. Auto loading shotguns are by far the most commonly used shotgun for shooting water fowl. Every year we cull up to 1000 geese in and around the Waikato area. Being stuck with a side by side would make this next to impossible without large scale poisoning.

Ant Corke:

Semi automatic firearms are a tool that are currently used by pest controllers and DOC rangers to erradicate pests such as rabbits and wallabies that infest the central south island, feral pigs and goats that destroy important endangered species habitats throughout New Zealand. The goverment’s commitment for the Battle for the Birds and Preditor Free 2050 requires firearms that have sufficient firepower to ensure high productivity. A blanket ban would hamper this. There are laws, such as the E Category which could be widened to restrict easy access to these firearms without removing a very important conservation tool.

Careful thought is required in drafting new legislation not knee jerk reactions from the ill informed.

I think these are both valid points in the debate over restricting access to semi-automatic firearms, and i hope the Government carefully considers these – Ardern has given an indication that they are listening to legitimate firearms users.

There are legitimate uses for semi-automatics that could justify special licensing to allow their use. This could be similar to the current special licensing to possess and use poisons for pest control.

After carefully considering things I have decided that I have good reason to still to have a firearm. I can switch from semi-automatic to bolt action and may well do this. If special licensing is required for any semi-automatic then I am unlikely to bother with that.

I think that just about all responsible firearm owners and users accept and support the need for some restrictions and law changes.

We will have to wait and see what extent the changes end up requiring.