A man who took part in mass shootings at two mosques in New Zealand was a self-declared fascist.
Brenton Tarrant was one of a group that murdered at least 49 Muslims—and injured at least 20 more—when he attacked worshippers in Christchurch on Friday.
He live-streamed footage onto social media of him shooting men, women and children at close range in the Al-Noor mosque.
Tarrant published a “manifesto” shortly before the shootings.
He declared himself an “eco-fascist” most inspired by Oswald Mosley, leader of the British Union of Fascists in the 1930s.
To a question Tarrant posed to himself “Did/do you have ties to any other partisans/freedom fighters/ethno soldiers?” he also named Darren Osbourne. Osborne was found guilty of driving a van into worshippers outside Finsbury Park mosque in north London in 2017.
Tarrant claimed to have “brief contact” with Nazi mass murderer Anders Breivik “receiving a blessing for my mission after contacting his brother knights”.
World leaders quickly issued condemnations—but many of them have been responsible for legitimising the racist views.
British foreign office minister David Lidington said the Christchurch attack showed the need to “stamp out” Islamophobia. But he is a member of a party riddled with racists—and a government that has spearheaded a clampdown on Muslims in Britain.
Some of those condemning the Christchurch attack praised Tory former foreign secretary Boris Johnson. He faced no sanctions for writing that Muslim women who wear the niqab look like “letter boxes” last summer.
The Islamic Human Rights Commission in Britain said, “The horrific terrorist attacks on innocent worshippers in two New Zealand mosques this morning is the inevitable outcome of the rampant Islamophobia that has been whipped up globally by politicians, far right activists and the media.
“Whether it is Tommy Robinson, Boris Johnson, Donald Trump or the Daily Mail, together they have created an environment of hate in which anti-Muslim rhetoric flourishes and in many cases incites people to commit acts of violence.
“Indeed Islamophobia has become so normalised in western societies that politicians and pundits increasingly use it as a dog whistle to woo supporters.
The Tories’ Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 forces public sector workers to spy on Muslims for signs of “radicalisation” under the Prevent programme.
Weymann Bennett, Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) co-convenor, slammed the politicians who have pushed racism against Muslims. “The ‘hostile environment’ has created these monsters and we need to stand in unity against them, and in solidarity with the Muslim community and all those that face the threat of the far right.
“That’s why we are marching on 16 March around the world against racism and fascism. Join us on the streets in London, Glasgow and Cardiff.