There is much that we do not yet know about the Christchurch mosque shootings in New Zealand on Friday, in which 49 people who include 41 at Deans Avenue mosque and seven at Linwood mosque, and more than 20 others were seriously injured. At least three among the dead were primarily identified as Bangladeshis while 10 others were reportedly in hospital with gunshots. Members of the Bangladesh national cricket team, who are now on a tour of New Zealand, had a narrow escape since they were in the vicinity to attend the Friday prayers at the Al Noor mosque. They left the scene immediately as the shooting unfolded inside.
Even though law enforcement officials have said that four persons including the man who livestreamed himself attacking the mosques and identified himself online before the rampage as Australian citizen Brenton Tarrant, they could not let us know what the actual motive behind the attack was and why the attacker(s) chose the mosques to accomplish their unholy purpose. However, it has been reported in media that on a now-deleted Twitter account Tarrant posted multiple photos of what appear to be machine gun magazines and a link to what is being described as a manifesto for his actions. In a 74-page document Tarrant outlined his motivations: including to “create an atmosphere of fear” and to “incite violence” against Muslims while offering up autobiographical details. Tarrant, who is an Australian citizen, entitled his document ‘The Great Replacement’. Whatever might have been the motive behind the attacks, we know one thing for sure that this attack has no difference to those happening throughout the world. To us, this attack like every other incident of the same kind is an assault on the whole mankind.
Our first reaction to the deadly incident would be one of sympathy and solidarity for the victims and their families. We are shocked, as all people of decency would be, that how anyone could do this. It is really appalling that people who had come out of home for Friday prayers had their lives shattered in bullets. It is easily perceivable that this attack, the worst of its kind in New Zealand’s history, will make the immigrant Muslims in the country feel insecure. So, the country’s administrations must not spare any efforts to reinforce the sense of security among the immigrants alongside its citizens by cracking down hard on the miscreants. We also feel the urgency for a concerted global effort to thwart terrorism since the whole world is being a victim of this escalating nuisance. May sagacity and love prevail over lunacy and hatred!