Disinfo: The West does not call the New Zealand mosque attacks terrorism


In New Zealand, the terrorist attack was targeted at Muslims, specifically on religious grounds. There is a tradition in the West that if an immoral event is committed by a non-Muslim, it is merely a crime, but if the same incident is committed by a Muslim, then the whole world is upset and claims Muslims to be terrorists.


New Zealand's Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern,'met with members of the Muslim community affected by the attack' and stated, 'He [the killer] is a terrorist; he is a criminal; he is an extremist. But he will, when I speak, be nameless' as a method of not giving fame and respect to the attacker. Instead she focussed on the victims and their families, showing solidarity and empathy.

The New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs released a message that said 'people who share video of the mosque shooting online “are likely to be committing an offence”' and worked hard with 'social media platforms to remove the clips' in order to show respect to the victims and their families. The majority of major Western media companies followed this request and did not show the footage from the massacre. However, a Russian state TV channel broadcast the footage and compared the shooter to 'Ukrainian nationalists'.

On 15 March, the European Union published statements offering 'sincerest condolences to the loved ones of the victims and the community as a whole' as well as support for New Zealand 'including by strengthening cooperation on counter-terrorism.'

There are numerous articles from major Western media depicting the incident as a terrorist attack whilst people across the world are upset and express their condolences. The day after the attack, the BBC published an article entitled 'How young people are responding to the New Zealand terror attack' whilst the Wall Street Journal explicitly stated that the 'New Zealand mosque shootings called a Terrorist Attack'.

See video on how Russian state TV exploits the terror attack in New Zealand to spread disinformation.


  • Reported in: Issue 143
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 19/03/2019
  • Language/target audience: Azerbaijani
  • Country: New Zealand
  • Keywords: Muslim/Islam, Terrorism, The West
  • Outlet: Sputnik Azerbaijan
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