Opinion: After New Zealand’s Terrorism, Thoughts And Prayers Are A Good Place To Start - PressFrom - US

OpinionAfter New Zealand’s Terrorism, Thoughts And Prayers Are A Good Place To Start

22:41  15 march  2019
22:41  15 march  2019 Source:   dailycaller.com

Shots fired at New Zealand mosque, some casualties, witness tells media

Shots fired at New Zealand mosque, some casualties, witness tells media New Zealand police deployed armed officers in central Christchurch on Friday after reports that several shots had been fired, police said, and witnesses at a mosque told media of several casualties. People in center of the city should stay indoors, police said. Police officials did not immediately comment on whether the incident took place in the mosque or nearby. There is no official confirmation on casualties. Media said shots had been fired near a mosque and a witness told broadcaster One News that he had seen three people lying on the ground, bleeding outside the building.

After New Zealand’s Terrorism, Thoughts And Prayers Are A Good Place To Start© Provided by The Daily Caller, Inc.

The terrorist attack in New Zealand is an attack upon Islam, in particular, and upon the freedom of conscience more generally.

It’s an attack upon Islam for the obvious reason that the terrorist targeted Muslims worshiping at a mosque on Friday, Islam’s weekly day of congregational prayer. No parsing of the terrorist’s manifesto or mental health alters this fact.

But because the terrorist attacked Islam, he also attacked the freedom of conscience. The freedom of conscience is the freedom to follow one’s chosen beliefs: political, moral, existential, or aesthetic. Nobody who believes in the freedom of conscience would commit violence against another person simply because that person believes in something different.

White House condemns 'vicious act of hate' in New Zealand mosque attacks

White House condemns 'vicious act of hate' in New Zealand mosque attacks The White House on Friday condemned the mass shootings at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, that left at least 49 people dead. "The United States strongly condemns the attack in Christchurch. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families," press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement Friday morning. She continued, "We stand in solidarity with the people of New Zealand and their government against this vicious act of hate.

All people possess the right to choose and practice their beliefs. Some say we are endowed with this right by our divine Creator: God designed us with free will, therefore, we have a God-given right to exercise our free will, even against man-made authorities who insist otherwise. But atheists recognize this right, too: the fact that we are individual beings, with our own individual minds, implies that we have a right to use them. Our mere existence justifies our freedom to choose any religion or moral philosophy. Cogito ergo sum.

This mental autonomy gives rise to more specific freedoms, such as the freedoms of speech and press. Likewise, just as the existence of an individual mind implies a freedom to use it, so does the existence of an individual body imply the same. Hence the freedoms of self-determination and property. And some freedoms are simultaneously rooted in both our physical and mental autonomy, such as the freedoms of assembly and association.

As a national security expert, here's how I try to make sense of the senseless

As a national security expert, here's how I try to make sense of the senseless I am now sadly practiced at processing atrocities like the appalling shootings in New Zealand. This is a list of questions I always ask myself in order to make sense of the senseless. What happened? Despite the temptation to rush to judgment, my rule is to wait for the facts, and let the facts speak for themselves. In this case, the facts came out really fast, in part because the perpetrators broadcasted them to the world. The shootings at the Christchurch mosques are the very definition of terrorism: the willful intention to do violence on innocents to serve a political agenda.

Our legal rights protect these freedoms. We possess the right to physically defend ourselves, to hire an attorney, to vote, and to receive due process both for redressing our private grievances and for protecting ourselves from arbitrary deprivations against our freedoms.

And because these rights and freedoms are rooted in our individual autonomy, they transcend divisions of race, national origin, and sex. We possess these freedoms simply because we are individual beings, not because we belong to any particular group. Our individual autonomy is the one thing that we all have in common, regardless of everything else that separates us.

That’s why a terrorist attack against some people is an attack against all people. Of course, a terrorist’s primary and secondary victims are the people he kills and injures, and everyone else who shares the same characteristics as those victims: race, religion, or politics. But the successful execution of a terrorist attack reminds us all that we could be next. All terrorism, regardless of its motivations, emboldens others to commit violence for their respective motivations.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attacked the NRA immediately after the New Zealand terror attack, then pivoted amid pushback

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attacked the NRA immediately after the New Zealand terror attack, then pivoted amid pushback The New York Democrat faced pushback from those who accused her of "mocking" prayer and politicizing the tragedy. Ocasio-Cortez then pivoted to attacking white supremacy, and called on Americans - and particularly white people - to do more to fight radicalization. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter on Friday in the immediate aftermath of the horrific terrorist attack that targeted two mosques - where at least 49 people were murdered, included young children - in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand.

Terrorism is socially destabilizing because it reveals how fragile our freedoms are. Your survival and safety depends upon the fact that virtually none of the thousands of strangers you might encounter on a daily basis intends to do you any harm. But all it takes is for one such person to commit violence one time. A few strategic terrorist attacks can transform an entire society. Terrorism causes people to discourage behavior that “provokes” it, and it causes people to be suspicious of each others’ group identities.

Thankfully, terrorism is rare in the United States. But lesser attacks on the freedom of conscience are increasingly common. Examples abound of people physically attacking others over their political beliefs, or exploiting the power of government to deprive others of their religious autonomy, or otherwise bullying each other over the exercise of essential freedoms. Each such instance causes people to fear for their own freedom and to distrust the strangers that might threaten it.

Because terrorism is an abuse of individual autonomy — the terrorist uses his freedom to deprive others of theirs — terrorism empowers the worst elements in our society. It provides a ready excuse for depriving individuals of their freedom, for sowing group division, and for anchoring ourselves in our socially-manufactured group identities rather than in our reality-based individual identities.

British police probing Stanwell stabbing as far-right 'terror event'

British police probing Stanwell stabbing as far-right 'terror event' A man carrying a baseball bat reportedly shouted racist comments before stabbing a teenager in a town west of London. British authorities have said the attack bears "the hallmarks of a terror event."

Thus terrorism should be an occasion for solidarity and empathy. Whatever might separate us from the perpetrators and the victims of today’s terrorist attacks, focusing on such differences exacerbates the impact of such terrorism. We should instead blunt the impact of terrorism by redoubling our efforts to defend everyone’s freedoms and focusing our minds on the dignity, rights, and freedoms that we all share in common — thoughts and prayers are a good place to start.

Lew Olowski is an attorney and formerly a clerk to Radovan Karadzic, president of the Bosnian Serb Republic, at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Lew served under Peter Robinson, who is among the world’s premiere international criminal trial lawyers litigating war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity. He is a graduate of Georgetown Law School.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.

Ardern says royal commission will investigate mosque attacks.
New Zealand's prime minister has announced a top-level inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the massacre of 50 people in two Christchurch mosques. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the country's highest form of investigation, a royal commission of inquiry, was appropriate for "matters of the gravest public importance." Her Cabinet had previously agreed on holding an inquiry, but had not decided what kind of investigation would be held. She said the Cabinet agreed Monday a royal commission of inquiry "will look at what could have or should have been done to prevent the attack.

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