The Media Double Standard in Christchurch Attacks

Terrorism has no religion

Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash

The terrorist attack on two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch has left at least 49 dead and 20 seriously injured. The suspect in his late 20s has been arrested and charged with murder. He is a white supremacist and a citizen of New Zealand. Authorities discovered 74-page manifesto matching several known details about the suspect and the planned terrorist attack. The manifesto advocates anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim ideas.

This has been one of “New Zealand’s darkest days” says prime minister Jacinda Arden. Such a cataclysmic event was the biggest attack that the country has faced in the last 76 years.

Watching the events unfold in media is heartbreaking. Nobody on this planet deserves such fate. It’s was an act of crime against humanity.

The terror from the attack could be felt throughout the whole world. We all stand together without brothers and sisters against this heinous act of terrorism. We all mourn the dead.

Yet, when you read the news and reports, you’ll rarely get the feeling they are actually talking about an act of terrorism. Instead of calling the shooter for what it is, news outlets use words like gunman or attacker to distinguish this type of attack from the ones committed by the Muslim population.

When such events unfold it’s important to address the issue for its face value. It’s important to understand that Muslim fundamentalists and Christian fundamentalists are both terrorists and their crimes do not differ in their nature. Every terrorist attack is orchestrated in order to accomplish larger ideological goals.

The whole point of terrorism is to terrorize

The Christchurch terrorist, in the same way as Bin Laden, is responsible to aggressively distributing his ideology. The attack was planned in order to reach a wider audience through live-streams and meme posts on the site 8chan.

Moreover, it’s important to inform the public about the killer, but reading and sharing the manifesto and amplifying his ideas could be seen as aiding the terrorist(as you’re actively distributing the ideas that stand behind the attacks). These manifests are coined in order to further radicalize others.

Terrorism, in a nutshell, is about optics. Its primary weapon is designed to make us scared. We should stand strong in mourning the victims of Christchurch and find the proper way to heal. Also, it’s important to address the atacker for what he is; a terrorist.