Christchurch Current Affairs - 2019

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Facebook bans White Nationalism, White Separatism on its Platforms

Facebook has banned praise, support and representation of white nationalism and white separatism on its platforms. This move had a qualified approval from the recent Christchurch mosque shooting. Further, Facebook has stated that it will direct users who post or search content connected to these ideologies to an organization that helps people leave hate groups.

Social Media platforms were under pressure and criticisms that they have failed to confront extremism. Social Media was under the spotlight after a suspected white supremacist broadcasted live footage of his attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand.

What are White Supremacy, White Nationalism and White Separatism?

White Supremacy is defined as a belief system with tenets like “whites should have dominance over people of other backgrounds, especially where they may co-exist; whites should live by themselves in a whites-only society; white people have their own ‘culture’ that is superior to other cultures; white people are genetically superior to other people.”

White Nationalism is defined as a “euphemism for white supremacy”. Whit Nationalism emphasizes defining a country or region by white racial identity and which seeks to promote the interests of whites exclusively, typically at the expense of people of other backgrounds.”

White Separatism is defined as a form of white supremacy which emphasizes the idea that white people should exist separately from all inferior, non-white races, whether by establishing an all-white community somewhere or removing non-whites from their midst.

New Zealand Announces Ban on Military-Style Semi-automatics and Assault Rifles

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a ban on all military-style semi-automatic weapons, assault rifles and high-capacity magazines. New Zealand has decided to overhaul gun laws in the country in the backdrop of the Christchurch mosque shootings.

It is estimated that there are about 1.2-1.5 million guns in New Zealand which has a population of about 5million people. There were no official data about the number of assault rifles in circulation and there are roughly 13,500 military-style semi-automatic weapons in New Zealand.

Christchurch Mosque Shootings

Christchurch mosque shootings refer to two consecutive terrorist attacks at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, during Friday Prayer on 15 March 2019. The first attack was at the Al Noor Mosque in the suburb of Riccarton at 1:40 pm and the second one was at the Linwood Islamic Centre at about 1:55 pm. The attacks were linked to white supremacism and alt-right extremism movements.

New Zealand police are investigating a manifesto, the 28-year-old suspect allegedly wrote and posted on social media shortly before the shooting began. This manifesto espouses far-right and white nationalistic views, specifically targeting Muslims and immigrants and praises mass murderers Dylann Roof, who attacked a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015, and Anders Breivik, who killed dozens of young people at a summer camp for Norway’s left-leaning political party.