Cave, Damien, and Amanda Saxton. “New Zealand Gives Christchurch Killer a Record Sentence.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 27 Aug. 2020, www.nytimes.com/2020/08/26/world/asia/christchurch-brenton-tarrant-sentenced.html.
Background and Credibility of Author and Source
Damien Cave: he is currently the bureau chief in Sydney, Australia. He is a graduate of Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism and Boston College and has been a part of The New York Times since 2004. Prior to his work in The New York Times, he wrote reports covering Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. Cave had also won the 2008 Overseas Press Club award for his international reports, and was one of the finalists for the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting.
New Zealand Gives Christchurch Killer a Record Sentence
News article; Cave seems like a credible writer, being that he has worked for The New York Times for quite a while and has won a Pulitzer Prize in 2008. This topic in particular has been written and spoken about for a while now as well, so I feel confident to use this article for factual information.
Reasoning for choosing this source: concerning and relative to today’s events. News of this terrorist attack (although the media has not called it one) has sparked fear, hopelessness, and sadness among many since it had broken out on social media. It continues to be relevant to this day, being that it is one of many hate crimes committed against Muslims.
Cave briefly describes the attacks of two mosques in New Zealand, resulting in 51 Muslim casualties, which was carried out by Brenton Tarrant back in March of 2019. He brings this up as he writes newly released information about Tarrant’s court ruling, confirming that Tarrant will be serving life in prison without the possibility of parole. In writing his report, Cave includes quotes of many of the victim’s families, as well as the judge handling Tarrant’s case. One victim, Temel Atacocugu, was shot 9 times at one of the mosques, Al Noor, and says “he felt another man’s brains and blood trickle across his face as he hid from Mr. Tarrant in a pile of dead bodies.” (18). One mother, Janna Ezat, had also decided to speak out in court; her son, Hussein al-Umari, had been shot through his skull and limbs to death. She had received his remains on her birthday, and “despite living with flashbacks of her son’s ‘gruesome’ wounds, Ms. Ezat told Mr. Tarrant that she would not hold onto her bitterness. ‘I decided to forgive you, Mr. Tarrant, because I don’t have hate, I don’t have revenge.” (20). Cave continues to include quotes of other surviving victims and families who lost loved ones from the attacks.
This article provides an emotional understanding of the type of treatment that has been surrounding the Muslim community for years, and Tarrant’s attack is simply one of multiple pieces of evidence that proves Islamophobia to be present in the 21st century. The quotes of surviving victims and the families who had lost their loved ones act upon the emotions of the audience reading the article. Specifically, it is the mother of her lost child who spoke up about her forgiveness. That, in its entirety, is the one of the greatest messages constantly taught in Islam. What’s more is Cave’s ending of his report, that despite such a tragic, horrifying, brutal attack, it furthered the unification of Muslims worldwide as we mourned over the deaths of our brothers and sisters.
“Mr. Tarrant’s actions came to be framed by many as a failure. He told the police his aim was to instill fear in the Muslim community. According to the statement of facts presented in court, he had intended to attack three mosques and burn them down after shooting as many people as he could, with the idea of dividing white people from non-European immigrants.” (30).
“By that point, and into Thursday morning, what began with grief had evolved into collective strength. With the entire courthouse given over to the sentencing, people gathered in the halls to catch up in warm exchanges — making New Zealand’s justice system feel like the mosques themselves, which have again become homes of worship and community, with freshly painted walls, new carpets and high-tech security.” (35).
“The damage he caused to this nation was heinous; no one will forget,’ said Mr. Fouda, the imam from Al Noor. But, he added, one message in particular must be remembered: ‘This person wanted to divide us, but he couldn’t,’ he said. ‘Now he is the loser, and we are the winners.” (42).