Murder in peaceful New Zealand

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Carl Hager
Éditorialiste Invitée
Guest Editorialist

The horror of the New Zealand slayings is beyond belief. People ask: what caused the murderous rampage on innocent citizens, and can anything be done to secure a safer future for everyone?

Carl Hager
Éditorialiste Invitée
Guest Editorialist

The horror of the New Zealand slayings is beyond belief. People ask: what caused the murderous rampage on innocent citizens, and can anything be done to secure a safer future for everyone?
The self-proclaimed right-wing killer paid homage to previous right-wing zealots in Norway and Québec who believe white society is polluted by the incursion of non-white people, leading to the downfall of society. The killer’s manifesto indicates he concluded this when he was appalled by the number of non-white people he saw in France.
The murderous outrage occurred in peaceful Christchurch, with the goal of
starting a race war, a tactic that has sadly been used before. Terrorists have shot African-Americans in southern U.S. churches, Jewish people in a synagogue,
and Muslim worshippers in mosques: all innocent people engaged in peaceful activity.
Clearly the thinking expressed in the manifesto is on the extreme fringe, without
connection to reality. Why would extremists like the New Zealand killer think their actions would start a race war by killing unarmed, praying citizens? We are offended, yes, but why would extremists believe their actions would spur regular folks to engage in the same behaviour?
Extremists do not understand history, demographics, or even basic economics. The digital world has changed the way we communicate, manufacture, and provide
services, meaning we need more skilled people. Canada’s birthrate is falling, so immigration is required. The economic engine requires continual supply of
products, needing people to work, buy and use, otherwise stagnation and depression results. Currently in Québec, 100,000 jobs are unfilled.
How do we deal with extremists and maintain our security? New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, has taken strong leadership on the matter, refusing to
say the killer’s name publicly, thereby shouldering him with the pain of anonymity. She is acting on stricter gun controls. U.S. President Trump has failed the
leadership test with his remark that extremism is a small problem. He should have condemned the killings outright, calling out Islamophobia the way he calls out the media and his political opponents.
The premier of Québec has flirted with the notion of making the hijab unacceptable. This isn’t dealing with real problems in society. It’s not leadership, it’s pandering to bigotry.
Extremist groups should be placed on watch lists and be scrutinized. Access to super weapons should be vigorously controlled.
Finally, education is the key. Children get along with each other without noticing race. Bigotry is learned and taught by parents, and other outside influences. Our challenge is to embrace beliefs and attitudes that exemplify our peaceful intentions and core values. This means living together in love and harmony and accepting we are one humanity.