Western tabloids labelled NZ attacker as “angelic boy, face condemnation

SYDNEY: British and Australian tabloids face condemnation on social media for showing childhood images of attacker Brenton Tarrant, in an attempt to “humanise” the main suspect.

At least 49 innocent Muslims were killed on Friday as they worshipped after Tarrant opened indiscriminate fire at two mosques in Christchurch in what a shocked New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern termed as a terror attack.

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Labelling the 28-year-old suspect an “angelic boy who grew into an evil far-right mass killer” British tabloid, the Daily Mirror, carries a photo of Tarrant as a young boy in the arms of his late father and described him as “a likeable and dedicated personal trainer running free athletic programmes for kids”.

British columnist Owen Jones condemned the tabloid’s coverage. Reacting to the coverage, he tweeted: “There is absolutely no chance a newspaper would splash a childhood photo of an Islamist terrorist who murdered 49 Christians in a church as an “angelic boy”. Displacing focus from the victims to oh how could such a sweet WHITE boy become a terrorist is abhorrent.”

British creative director Nooruddean Choudry also criticised by tweeting, “Instead the terrorist was an ‘angelic boy’ and the first paragraph describes him as ‘hard-working’. Scumbags”

During the 50-minute bloodbath 41 Muslims, including children in the Al Noor Mosque and other eight at nearby Linwood Masjid Mosque were dead and injured.

Handcuffed, shoeless Tarrant appeared in a Christchurch District Court on Saturday and was charged with murder.