TIME

HATRED AND HEALING

With an attack on a peaceful nation at the bottom of the world, white supremacists widen their violence
Survivors, family members and New Zealanders of every creed and color paid tribute to the victims of the mosque shootings in Christchurch

A FEW YEARS BACK, SOME MEMBERS OF CHRISTCHURCH’S Linwood mosque suggested installing security cameras outside. Anwar Alisaisy thought they were being ridiculous. Since immigrating to New Zealand from the Kurdish region of Iran in 2002, he’d seen no sign of trouble—not at the hairdresser’s where he worked nor at the mosque directly across the street where he prayed every Friday. “I said, ‘Nobody steals from the mosque. There’s no extremists,’” says Alisaisy. “New Zealand is the safest place.”

The father of six recalled this while standing at a length of police tape near the house of worship that is now a crime scene. He had been inside on March 15 when a white supremacist showed up with a carload of guns and a video camera on his helmet. “He was standing by the doorway shooting, and I fled to the back room,” says Alisaisy. “Children were crying, women yelling, and we could hear him keeping on shooting.”

The safety of a South Pacific island nation was not the only illusion destroyed that day. Also undone was the popular conception of international terrorism. The Christ-church attacks on two mosques that took at least 50 lives established white supremacy as a threat to Western societies nearly as formidable as terrorism carried out in the name of fundamentalist Islam—and one that, if anything, appears to draw even more oxygen from the Internet.

Long pigeonholed as “homegrown” or “domestic” terrorism, the violence of right-wing extremists emerged in remote New Zealand as a transnational threat. Here, a widely traveled and heavily armed Australian invoked white nationalism in the name of an international campaign against immigration. The magnitude of the attacks would have thrown the spotlight onto rightist extremism even if the killer had not streamed them on Facebook Live.

Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s Prime Minister, told TIME that governments around

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from TIME

TIME2 min readPolitics
In The West Bank, Olive Trees Draw Defenders From Afar
THIS SUMMER, 48-YEAR-OLD DYLAN JONES walked into a gallery in his hometown of Caersws, Wales, and was drawn to a collection of photos depicting the olive harvest in a small West Bank village—the gray skies and golden landscapes, the piles of purple o
TIME2 min read
Gathering Dinner Makes A Comeback
THISTLES, A KIND OF FLOWERING PLANT OFTEN covered in prickles, are probably not an ingredient in your go-to recipes. But Katrina Blair wants you to try eating them anyway. “I love to take the root, fresh or dry, and blend them into a chai,” she says.
TIME2 min read
Conversation
THE SECRETARY OF OFFENSE Vera Bergengruen and Brian Bennett’s Nov. 11 cover story, about President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, left reader Eugene Ely of San Jose, Calif., horrified by a dynamic in which he sees Giuliani and Trump “feeding