The massacre of Muslims this past Friday in Christchurch, New Zealand left me in a daze of anger and grief. Muslims are being gunned down and bombed all over the world and little is being done about it.
For this post, I want to compile some of the oddities with the details of the shooting. Things are not what they seem.
The below is broken down into sections for ease of reading.
The Manifesto: No Jews?
Tarrant allegedly wrote a manifesto called The Great Replacement explaining his motivations for killing Muslims. The problem is, the 73-page document reads like it was written by someone who is trying very hard to pretend to be a White Nationalist.
What do I mean by this?
Well, whoever wrote the document claims that he was mainly influenced by the internet.
The influence of internet meme culture is apparent in the manifesto and even in Tarrant’s horrifying video. White nationalists online immediately recognized the use of memes. In the video, for example, he says, “Subscribe to PewDiePie,” which is a white nationalist meme referring to popular white Youtuber PewDiePie, which trolls on 4chan and elsewhere envision (ironically) as a fascist neo-Nazi leader.
But there is one glaring inconsistency.
If you ever visit places on the internet frequented and owned by White Nationalists, such as 4chan, 8chan, Daily Stormer, or Gab, one immediate, indubitable fact hits you in the face:
These people hate Jews.
More than anyone else, White Nationalists hate Jews and are not afraid of expressing it with thousands of different memes. More than Blacks, more than Latinos, more than Muslims, Jews are at the top of the hate list. This is because White Nationalists believe that Jews are engaging in a genocidal project to destroy the White race. According to the White Nationalists, Jews are doing this primarily by pushing for immigration. As high birth-rate immigrants flood White nations and non-Whites and Whites intermix, eventually the White race will become a minority and will, within a few generations, cease to exist.
This, according to the White Nationalists on the internet, is a Jewish plot that Jews have engineered through their pushing of pro-immigration legislation, their control of media, etc.
What is bizarre about Tarrant’s alleged manifesto is that he says a great deal about this plot. He rails against immigration, fertility rates, and “White genocide.” But he doesn’t mention who the supposed plotters are. Why? Why is Tarrant following the White Nationalist script to the letter but doesn’t mention Jews once in the entire 73 pages?
Well, actually, he does mention Jews just once:
The statement is especially strange since, according to the dominant White Nationalist discourse, this is exactly what Jews are engaged in: harming white people, genociding them. In fact, White Nationalists often bemoan the fact that Jews have Israel as their Jewish ethno-state while allegedly preventing Whites from having their own White ethno-states.
Passages like this stand out:
White Nationalists reserve these kinds of statements for Jews, not Muslims. For White Nationalists, Muslims are just low IQ pawns used by Jews, but pose no serious threat on their own.
So why does an alleged White Nationalist who is so concerned about immigration and preserving the White race completely ignore the biggest, most prominent component of White Nationalist discourse?
This is like an alleged fan of the 90s Chicago Bulls writing a detailed 70-page tribute to the team’s amazing achievements in that decade without once mentioning Michael Jordan. If someone were to read such a tribute, the lack of mentioning Jordan would be more than a glaring omission. It would seem like the writer were deliberately trying to avoid him.
The same thing with this manifesto. Something doesn’t add up.
The Manifesto: American or Australian Spelling Conventions?
Another thing I noticed while reading the document is that the author switches between English spelling conventions haphazardly. At times, his spelling is consistent with the American convention and other times with Australian. Tarrant himself is Australian, so we would expect him to use Australian conventions, or at the very least, we would expect him to be consistent in using one convention or another. But oddly this is not the case.
For example, we read about Australian spelling:
“Unlike British English, which is split between -ise and -ize in words such as organise and realise, with -ize favoured by the Oxford English Dictionary and -ise listed as a variant, -ize is rare in Australian English and designated as a variant by the Macquarie Dictionary.
Yet the -ize variant, which is standard in American English, is dominant in the manifesto.
The words using this spelling are: Balkanize, energized, colonize, radicalized, globalized, industrialized, pulverized, commoditized, trivialized, strategize, realize, utilized, finalize, destabilize, deracialized, deculturalized, polarizing.
If you check these words in the official dictionary of Australian English, MacQuarie’s, you can see that the -ise spelling is standard throughout.
Another example of American spelling is the use of the word “practice.” In Australian spelling, when used as a noun, practice is spelled with -ice, but when it is used as a verb, such as in practised or practising, the -ise ending is used. Again, MacQuarie’s Dictionary can be consulted to see this distinction.
Yet, in the manifesto, this Australian convention is not followed. The -ice version of practice is used in the verbal form, such as when he writes on page 62:
“This is a tactic practiced not only on the French people, but on all the peoples of Europe, effectively destroying the nations identity at its core and smashing apart all bonds which a successful, unified nation is built upon.”
And also on page 69:
“In the United States, perhaps more than anywhere else in the world, the cult of the individual has been practiced for the longest time and with the deepest devotion.”
Now someone might respond to this by saying, well, maybe Tarrant was educated in the US. Maybe he had American teachers when he was first learning how to read and write.
This might be a plausible explanation if it weren’t for the fact that the manifesto also uses Australian conventions for other words like: labour, rumours, colour, honours, endeavours. Also words like scepticism are in the manifesto, which in the American convention is spelled with a ‘k’.
Strangest of all is the case of “favor” and “favour” which are spelled in both the Australian and American versions in the document.
Why would we find these kinds of inconsistencies? Switching between spelling conventions is not something that happens out of sloppiness or haste. The manifesto has minimal spelling errors and the grammar is not too bad.
Perhaps one explanation is he just copy and pasted snippets from the internet and didn’t bother to standardize the spellings throughout. Perhaps. But the psychopaths who write these manifestos put a lot of time and care into their work. They are obsessed with carefully constructing what they hope will be read by millions who they want to inspire to follow their murderous footsteps. The author of this manifesto indicates having such an obsessive personality:
Would such a self-critical writer resort to copy pasting passages into his magnum opus and overlook numerous spelling irregularities?
From the beginning of the news reporting, multiple shooters were reported by witnesses and, ultimately, multiple individuals were arrested and even appeared in court.
The Washington Post reports:
Police named Tarrant the primary suspect in what was the deadliest attack in New Zealand’s history — and one of the worst cases of right-wing terrorism in years — after the 28 year-old Australian allegedly stormed two mosques during mid-day prayers on Friday and mowed down dozens of huddling and fleeing worshipers while he streamed the killing live over the internet with a helmet-mounted camera.
Two others have been arrested in connection with the shootings: A second man, 18-year old Daniel John Burrough, was scheduled to appear in court later Saturday and face charges of inciting racial hostility or ill-will. A third accomplice remained unidentified.
They also reported that the court hearing for Tarrant was out of the ordinary:
During [Tarrant’s] hearing, which was closed to the public by Judge Paul Keller in the interest of safety — an unusual move for New Zealand courts — Tarrant did not enter a plea to the murder charge.
Yet the manifesto is written as if it were only written by one person acting alone. The self-asked questions are asked in reference to one person, e.g., “Do you carry out the attack for fame?” And the answers are also in the singular, e.g., “But the aftershock from my actions will ripple for years to come.”
Early police reports mentioned three active shooters.
Security analysts were also quoted on Friday saying that, based on the scope of the attack, multiple parties were involved:
Later news reports mention two other “associates” being arrested along with Tarrant:
If all these reports weren’t enough, there is also video footage of what is claimed to be two shooters other than Tarrant:
Was Tarrant acting alone? Or were there other shooters involved?
If this mass killing of 49 Muslims wasn’t carried out by a White Nationalist acting alone, who was responsible? Who would benefit from this? No need to speculate too much for now, as details are still turning up. But some interesting facts about Christchurch are worth citing.
The Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad, is known to have had espionage activities in the city.
This post will be updated inshaAllah as relevant details emerge.
Please make dua for the Muslims who were martyred as well as their families and the entire Ummah. At almost the same time as this shooting took place, the terrorist state of Israel also bombed Gaza. It’s not clear how many were killed in that strike.