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Horror in NZ shows the danger of righteousness

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If there is any one lesson to be learnt from the mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand, where a lone gunman shot dead 50 people and seriously injured 40 more, it is the danger of righteousness.

Brenton Harrison Tarrant, who carried out the mass shootings, believed he was doing the right thing by killing Muslims, whom he believed were invaders. He even justified the killing of children by arguing that the “children of invaders do not stay children, they become adults and reproduce, creating more invaders to replace your people”.

The Christchurch shooter believed he was saving his people by eliminating Muslims, who if unchecked would one day overrun his country. During his brief court appearance, he flashed a white power symbol to indicate what his actions were all about.

The Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik, who was a major inspiration for the Christchurch killer, was also fuelled by righteousness. On July 22, 2011, Breivik had detonated a bomb and gunned down 69 people because he believed his targets — government officials and ruling Labour Party youth wing members — were traitors helping the Muslim invasion of Norway. In all he, killed 76 people and severely wounded as many as 158 others in what is now considered one of the world’s biggest massacres.

Islamophobia is one of the ideologies fuelling hatred in a number of Western countries, as well as in Australia and New Zealand. Right-wing organisations dedicated to curb the rise of Muslims have sprouted in a number of these countries, including Italy, Germany, France, the United........

© Deccan Chronicle