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.
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”.
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) March 15, 2019
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.”
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 pic.twitter.com/pcQCOBzMpT
— Owen Jones 🌹 (@OwenJones84) March 16, 2019
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”
What a perverse angle to take on such a barbaric act of terrorism. None of the victims are humanised or mourned. Instead the terrorist was an 'angelic boy' and the first paragraph describes him as 'hard-working'. Scumbags pic.twitter.com/A9x8mPd210
— Nooruddean (@BeardedGenius) March 15, 2019
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.