A year ago, on 15 March 2019, the violent attack on people attending the Islamic prayer in two mosques in Christchurch generated feelings of anxiety, shock and disgust far beyond the city of Christchurch, New Zealand. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic the national memorial event has been cancelled but people did honor the 51 Muslims who were killed.
— DOAM (@doamuslims) March 15, 2020
Death and memory
In a really interesting series of podcasts Middle East Eye’s’s Mohamed Hassan looks at “the fractures left after the Christchurch terror attack the unspoken truths, the ripples sent throughout the world, and ultimately the path towards healing. In the aftermath of tragedy, how does a community learn to grieve; as a country, as individuals, and as a hidden minority suddenly thrust into the spotlight?” This in five episodes, with five intimate conversations:
Trauma and living through
On 7AM also an insightful and powerful podcasts series providing background to the Islamophobic white nationalist terrorism phenomenon. But it starts with the people who survided.
Part one Widows: A year on from the Christchurch massacre, survivors face isolation and economic hardship. In part one of a three-part special, 7AM speaks to the men and women living through the aftermath.
Part two The Dossier: A secret ASIO document warns of the threat of far-right terrorism in Australia. In detail never before published, it outlines the risk Australia faces from those who believe in an impending “race war”.
Part three The itch at your back: A year on from the Christchurch terrorist attack, Muslims in Australia are still wrestling with a new level of fear. Many are questioning the way the media and politics have stoked division.
Not all extremisms are equal
The point of Part Three of the 7AM podcast refers to two basic issues. First of all, as many researchers have already shown, there exists a stubborn bias in talk about extremism and radicalization which prioritizes militancy and extremism among Muslims over other forms of violent extremism and polarisation. Secondly, the terrorists manifesto, ‘The Great Replacement’ is strikingly similar to political discussions in the mainstream media and in Parliament regarding islamisation, creeping sharia, flows of migrants. Richard McNeil Willson details some of the lessons we should learn from the Christchurch attacks and in particular be aware of how “Extreme far-right views have seeped into parts of the media and politics, normalised in parts of life that other forms of ‘extremism’ have not.”
Making sense and trying to provide ways to understand as a researcher
After the violent attacks Kawsar Ali changed research area “to address the shooting at a Master of Research level, from ethnic crime to the links between race, power and the Internet. I decided to ask questions such as, ‘How can the Internet be used to extend settler colonialism?’ And ‘What does the Christchurch shooting say about Australia and Aotearoa?’ My research has directed me to interrogate deeply difficult online and offline spaces, communities and realities, and I have collected a wealth of archived data over the past year.” His article is a powerful combination of a researcher personally trying to make sense of things and, coining the term ‘digital settler colonialism’ to share insights about the nexus between race, power and the Internet.