Learning With: ‘New Zealand Attack: Quick Action, Near Miss and Courage in Christchurch’

Learning With: ‘New Zealand Attack: Quick Action, Near Miss and Courage in Christchurch’

4. Why were officers able to arrive on the scenes of the attacks more quickly on that particular day? The article goes on to say, “Still, it was not fast enough.” What details develop this point?

5. Who is the suspect? What appears to be his motive? How long did it take police officers to apprehend him?

Finally, tell us more about what you think:

The related Opinion essay “The Roots of the Christchurch Massacre” argues that “All those who have helped to spread the worldwide myth that Muslims are a threat have blood on their hands.” Wajahat Ali writes:

Upon learning about the massacre in Christchurch, a Muslim friend messaged me, “How will we keep our kids safe?”

I didn’t have a good answer. But I know the threat we’re facing isn’t just individual terrorists. It’s the global ideology of white nationalism and white supremacy. We have to take it seriously, and call out politicians, academics and media personalities who give it a platform under the guise of exploring both sides, fostering debate or avoiding political correctness.

The cost is too great. Just look to Christchurch and the 49 worshipers who should have returned home to their families and community instead of attending their last prayer.

Do you share Mr. Ali’s stance that attacks like those that took place at two mosques in Christchurch are not caused just by individual terrorists carrying out the attacks but also the “global ideology of white nationalism and white supremacy” to which they subscribe?

Elsewhere in his essay, Mr. Ali incorporates in his argument President Trump’s rhetoric about immigration in the United States and in Europe:

If the idea that Muslims are a threat sounds familiar, it’s in part because it was used by President Trump to argue for a wall to protect America from a “caravan” of Central American migrants seeking asylum. He asserted that “Middle Easterners” were in the caravan, a claim he admitted he could not back up. During a summer trip to England, Mr. Trump warned that Britain was losing its “culture” and that immigration had “changed the fabric of Europe — and unless you act very quickly, it’s never going to be what it was.”

Arguing for his travel ban aimed at mostly Muslim countries, Mr. Trump said, “I think Islam hates us,” lied about seeing Muslims celebrate the Sept. 11 attacks, and retweeted a fringe anti-Muslim group’s fake videos of Muslim refugees committing violence. No wonder the Christchurch manifesto praised Mr. Trump “as a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.”

It’s clear that the dangers of white nationalism aren’t limited to the United States. This attack is a reminder that this dangerous ideology also threatens immigrant communities worldwide, and that it’s fueled by leaders around the world.

What is your reaction to these ideas? Do you think world leaders like Mr. Trump can or should be held responsible for the spread of anti-immigrant ideology? Why or why not? How has New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, responded to the attacks? Do you think she can use her position and words to help heal her nation?

Finally, what role does social media play in fomenting hatred of certain groups? It is known that the shooter in Christchurch streamed part of the attacks on Facebook. Do social media companies have a responsibility to block extremists from using their platforms to spread hate and inspire violence? Explain your stance.