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New Zealand attack result of Islamophobic media: Analyst

Tributes are seen as mourners pay their respects for victims of the March 15 mosque attacks, in Christchurch on March 16, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

Islamophobic media in the West are responsible for the deadly shooting at two mosques in New Zealand on Friday, says an analyst, adding that they should be held accountable for spreading anti-Muslim sentiments.

At least one gunman killed 49 people and wounded more than 20 during Friday prayers at two New Zealand mosques in the country's worst ever mass shooting, which Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern condemned as terrorism.

The Australian gunman behind the massacre, identified as Brenton Tarrant, broadcast live footage on Facebook of the attack on one mosque in the city of Christchurch, mirroring the carnage played out in video games, after publishing a "manifesto" in which he denounced immigrants, calling them "invaders".

“Turning to the causes of these sorts of terrorist attacks against Muslims, it is my opinion that for example in Britain because Islamophobia, because anti-Muslim sentiments is so widespread for example within the Conservative Party, within British mainstream media such as The Sun newspaper, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, that these grotesque views are giving legitimacy to other people in society who want to discriminate against Muslims and who also want to even go further and kill Muslims,” Marcus Papadopoulos, editor at Politics First told Press TV in an interview on Saturday.

“So I do believe that in light of what happened in Christchurch, newspapers like The Daily Telegraph, the Times and The Sun and politicians like Boris Johnson [former British foreign secretary] need to be held accountable. They need to first of all apologize for their remarks and they need to rectify the damage that they have done because as I said they have legitimized Islamophobic sentiments,” he added.  

Violent crime is rare in New Zealand and police do not usually carry guns.

Before Friday, New Zealand's worst mass shooting was in 1990 when a gun-mad loner killed 13 men, women and children in a 24-hour rampage in the tiny seaside village of Aramoana. He was killed by police.


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