Virtually Islamic Blog

Gary R. Bunt


Coverage of the Christchurch attacks and their aftermath (updated)

Comprehensive coverage is provided here for information/research, focusing on the social media elements associated with this blog. The links go through to content that is in some cases upsetting. The intention here was not to link to any footage of victims taken inside the mosques. Some coverage may change as pages are updated. Scroll down to the end of the page for the latest materials

Writing on the day of the attacks, I noted: "Take care viewing these materials, which are still sensitive. When checking social media this morning, I saw many clips in my timeline taken from inside the mosque (by the alleged perpetrator, and by mosque attendees) which were incredibly disturbing. In the coverage below, from a variety of providers, it is impossible to miss the image of the gun, nor the brief clip of the alleged perpetrator in his car.

"The implications in this terrible case of anti-Muslim terrorism impact beyond the borders of New Zealand, a point that some of the articles below allude to. There is more coverage on my Twitter @garybunt and via hashtags including #NewZealandMosqueAttack, #NewZealandMosqueShooting and #ChristChurchMosqueAttack.

"As I prepare to teach an Introduction to Islam module next week, with a focus on Muslims in western contexts, the significance of the subject is amplified to an extreme level."

I continued to update this page in the days after the attack, to provide some context and reaction to the events that transpired after the attack. This is not a substitute for news coverage. It might provide a useful reference point when exploring the subject in greater detail later on.

This clip below gives some context to the Al-Noor Mosque:

This is a comprehensive report from Channel 9 Australia, broadcast in the hours after the attack:

Al-Noor Mosque, Christchurch. Profile/Photos (via Google).
Radio New Zealand - broadcasting feed, rolling coverage.
New Zealand Herald, Christchurch mosque shootings: Gunman livestreamed 17 minutes of shooting terror
BBC News Updates
Al-Jazeera, 'Hello brother': Muslim worshipper's 'last words' to gunman
New York Times, New Zealand Muslims Await Word From Mosque Attacks: ‘Everybody Knew Each Other’ "Muslims across New Zealand — members of a small, closely knit community of about 50,000 — were struggling to learn on Friday whether their loved ones were among the victims of an attack on two mosques in the city of Christchurch."
CNN feed, Mass shootings at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand
Mark Di Stefano, Buzzfeed, The Daily Mail Let Readers Download The New Zealand Mosque Attacker's Manifesto Directly From Its Website "The Mail was one of several British news outlets which defied requests from New Zealand police on Friday not to spread the terrorist's first-person footage, which had been repeatedly shared across social media platforms in the wake of the attack."
Criticism of Mail Online coverage (via Twitter)
SkyNews, Fury as Australian senator Fraser Anning blames immigration for mosque shootings in Christchurch
Guardian, Video of Christchurch attack runs on social media and news sites
Straits Times, Facebook, YouTube blindsided by Christchurch mosque shooter's livestream video "While platforms including Twitter and YouTube said they moved fast to remove the content, users reported that it was still widely available hours after being first uploaded to the alleged shooter's Facebook account."
USA Today, Social media scrambles to remove videos of New Zealand Christchurch mosque shooting
Robert Evans, Bellingcat, Shitposting, Inspirational Terrorism, and the Christchurch Mosque Massacre This is an important article about the background to the attacks.
H.A. Hellyer, Comment, Guardian, The Islamophobia that led to the Christchurch shooting must be confronted "Do not be under any illusion. The attacks against Muslims in New Zealand cannot be swept under the carpet by claiming that the suspect is an isolated actor or a disturbed individual. From what I have seen, the threat is far more serious than that – and the responsibility for facing up to it falls on all of us. The kind of Islamophobia that appears to have driven these killings goes far beyond some radicalised individual. It’s a thread that runs throughout the west – and we must confront it, now."
Muslim Council of Britain, New Zealand Terror Attacks at Friday Prayers statement from MCB.
Statement from Imams Online (via Twitter):

ImamsOnline 150319 statement on Christchurch

Statement from Muslim Council of Wales (via Twitter)

Muslim Council of Wales statement 15.03.19

Sky News, Weaknesses found of policing the internet
Sky News, New Zealand shootings: Hero picked up mosque attacker's gun and chased him
Khalid Beydoun's Twitter features the hashtag listing the victims of the Christchurch terrorism attack: #49lives
Waleed Aly's comments (Channel 10 Australia) are profoundly moving:

Jason Burke, Guardian, Technology is terrorism’s most effective ally. It delivers a global audience "In Tarrant’s world, on his live stream, in his own mind and those of his followers, he is a warrior, a racial hero, a leader but also, in a wider contemporary sense, a celebrity, if only for a moment. In a terrible, twisted way, he is not wrong."
Al Jazeera, Inside Out, New Zealand mosque attack: Can online hate speech be stopped? "After the attack was livestreamed on Facebook, detectives are focusing on the perpetrator's online activities and a so-called "manifesto" full of far-right, ultranationalist and anti-Muslim views." Programme on hate speech online:

Radio New Zealand, Gaming website Steam removes profiles paying homage to accused attacker
Guardian, Christchurch shooting: Ardern says 'manifesto' sent to office minutes before massacre "The alleged Christchurch mosque shooter sent a “manifesto” to the office of New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern minutes before the terrorist attack that left 50 people dead, she has said."
Radio New Zealand, Christchurch mosque terror attack day 3: What you need to know
Channel 4 News, What is fuelling the far-right threat?, 16 Mar 2019 "Akeela Ahmed, who chairs the Government’s Anti-Muslim-Hatred Taskforce and Hisham Hellyer, who specialises in international security at the Royal United Services Institute and has written books on politics and religion, join the programme."

Isabella Steger & Echo Huang, Quartz, The New Zealand shooter finds support in Islamophobic corners of China’s internet "Anti-Islam sentiment has become widespread on the internet in China amid resentment over what some believe to be preferential government policies toward minorities, as well as over attacks carried out by a handful of Muslim Uyghurs from the country’s far west." 
Sydney Morning Herald, Tony Abbott backs away from infamous 'Islamophobia hasn't killed anyone' remark "Mr Abbott made the remark in June 2017 in the immediate aftermath of the London Bridge terror attack, arguing officials were too scared of offending Muslims to debate Islamic terrorism properly."
Vox, Why tech companies failed to keep the New Zealand shooter’s extremism from going viral "Despite those efforts, videos of the attack were easy to find through simple searches online, even hours and days after the initial shooting spree. The swift dissemination highlights how ill-equipped tech companies remain in addressing the vile, racist, and excessively violent content that’s being shared on their platforms."
BBC Monitoring's Mina al-Lami's thread on the circulation of the Christchurch mosque attack video by jihad platforms
Al Jazeera, Waleed Wahsh talks to Al Jazeera about the loss of 3 close friends during the New Zealand mosque attacks.
SBS News - Haka by Christchurch schoolchildren (via Twitter @StefSimanowitz)
Pat Campbell, Cartoon, 16 March 2019 (below). See the tweet for a better quality image of this beautiful cartoon.
Middle East Eye, New Zealand has been a home to Muslims for centuries, and will remain so "Contrary to the dominant narrative that frames Muslims as newcomers to New Zealand, Muslims first arrived as early as 1769. The Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand, the country's national Muslim organisation, recorded that from the 1850s Muslim families began to settle in Cashmere, Christchurch."
RNZ, 4000 people watched Facebook video before anyone reported it "Mr Sonderby [Facebook's Vice President Chris Sonderby] said of the 1.5 million copies of the video Facebook removed from the site, 1.2m were blocked at upload, meaning they never were able to be viewed. That leaves 300,000 versions of the footage which were successfully uploaded before they were deleted."ABC, Christchurch shooting victim buries family who left war-torn Syria, only to be gunned downMirror, Feared biker gang to guard Muslim prayers after Christchurch mosque attacks " … members of the Waitkato Mongrel Mob say they will show their support by guarding Jamia Masjid Mosque in Hamilton, in New Zealand's North Island to make sure there's no repeat of the violence." <>

New Zealand's parliament witnesses a recitation from the Qur'an:

BBC News, Christchurch attacks: Al-Noor mosque reopens to worshippers
Guardian, Anti-Muslim hate crimes soar in UK after Christchurch shootings
Al Jazeera, Why did New Zealand intelligence fail to catch attack suspect?

Tweet #garybunt