New Zealand mosque shootings: PM Jacinda Ardern rejects and condemns white supremacist ideology
The Prime Minister also referred to the incident as 'one of New Zealand's darkest days,' and assured the public that they 'will not and cannot be shaken by this attack'
The Prime Minister for New Zealand Jacinda Ardern openly condemned white supremacist ideology after New Zealand experienced its worst-ever terror attack which took the lives of 49 innocent people and injured up to 20.
While speaking in a conference on Friday afternoon, Ardern said, "It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack." She explained how New Zealand had been targeted as it "represents the values of diversity, kindness, compassion."
She shared, "We a home for those who share our values and a refuge for those who need it. And those values I can assure you will not and cannot be shaken by this attack."
"These are people who I would describe as having extremist views, that have absolutely no place in New Zealand, and in fact have no place in the world. While we do not have any reason to believe at this stage that there are any other suspects, we are not assuming that at this stage. The joint intelligence group has been deployed and police are putting all of their resources into the situation. The Defence Force is currently transporting additional police staff to the region. The national security threat level has been lifted from low to high," she said in the speech.
"Christchurch was the home of these victims. For many, this may not have been the place they were born. In fact, for many, New Zealand was their choice. The place they actively came to and committed themselves to. The place they were raising their families, with communities who loved them and who they loved. The place where they came for safety. Where they were free to practice their culture and their religion," she continued.
Ardern also went on to address and issue "the strongest possible condemnation of the ideology of the people who did this." She further said, "You may have chosen us, but we utterly reject and condemn you." She confirmed that four people have been arrested as a result of the deadly mass shooting which includes one offender, two associates, and another person not directly connected to the attacks.
Authorities have not elaborated on who they detained. But a man who claimed responsibility for the shootings left a 74-page anti-immigrant manifesto in which he explained who he was and his reasoning for his actions. He said he was a 28-year-old white Australian. The man, believed to be identified as Brenton Tarrant, called the manifesto 'The Great Replacement' and published it online the morning before opening fire at two mosques in Christchurch. Tarrant also live streamed his attack on the Al Noor mosque on Facebook.