The Great Replacement: An Analysis of the Christchurch Shooter’s Manifesto

Shamel Dishack

Staff Writer

On March 15, 2019 Brenton Tarrant conducted two consecutive terrorist attacks on mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. When the rampage ended, 50 lives were lost and 50 more were injured, marking the deadliest shooting in New Zealand’s history.

On the day Tarrant carried out the shootings, he released a 74-paged manifesto via twitter and other social media. Now recently banned in New Zealand, according to CNN, the manifesto discusses the grievances that Tarrant has towards the evolution of the modern world, and the dangers that threaten the welfare of the white race and European identity.

Titled “The New Replacement” (inspiration from Jean Camus), the manifesto begins with the poem “Do not go gentle into that good night” by Dylan Thomas, where he then proceeds to offer a short introduction, citing that the ultimate thing one should remember from his writings is that the birth rate must change. Tarrant sees the declining birthrates in Europe as an alarming trend exacerbated by a nihilistic and individualistic culture, and mass migration and higher fertility rates of the immigrants as an immediate threat to the European identity.

In his eyes, these immigrants are bent on reversing the social and cultural landscape of Europe, culminating in an inevitable replacement of the European. With democratic institutions ineffective to combat these population shifts, Tarrant sees no option but to use radical approaches through lethal force.

From there, Tarrant answers questions that he thinks both opponents and sympathizers will ask. Through his answers, we come to discover that he is a 28-year-old Australian who primarily made income through investments, odd jobs, and traveling. He identifies as an ethno nationalist and eco-fascist. From there, he may have had connections with other organizations, specifically with the reborn Knights Templars, who he claims gave him a blessing in support.

He sees his actions as nothing but a blast whose aftershock will ripple for years to come, and that his role to be insignificant but necessary. He considers himself a partisan with anti-immigration and racist, since he wants to preserve the sanctity of the white race. However, he does not find himself to be xenophobic because he “tolerates” other races and cultures so as long as they remain within their borders and territories. In regards to Islamophobia, he cites the Muslim community’s high birth rates and plunders across human history as the threat, not the faith.

In the questions pertaining to the attacks, he claims that the planning was two years in the making, although the location shifted from Dunedin to Christchurch after seeing the mosques there and the desecration of the church in Ashburton. According to him, the Christchurch and Linwood mosques had far more “invaders”, less students and more adults, along with a prior history of extremism.

He considers the attacks terrorist by nature but finds righteous grounds under the claim that he is simply a partisan fighting against an occupying force. He does not feel remorse for the attacks, and plans to plead not guilty if taken to court, where he will use his platform to spread his ideas through the media and deplete resources from the state via his imprisonment. He also sees the  possibility of  being released from jail after years of incarceration and compares his plight to  Nelson Mandela.

When addressing the reasons behind his attack, he says that it is to show the invaders that the white lands will never be stolen and that the homelands will never be conquered.  He feels his attacks could remove immigrants that threaten European identity and wants to agitate the political enemies into action.

Tarrants hopes that his attacks not only unite the Europeans under one banner, but cause divides within themselves and even the United States. He praises the Asian nations for their ethnic solidarity and even looks at the People’s Republic of China as model Europeans are ought to emulate.

The manifesto includes questions pertaining to the United States, where Tarrant wants to create an ideological conflict within the United States on the subject of firearm ownership. With this in mind, he predicts a balkanization of the United States that will not only result in the racial separation of the United States, but will also ensure the deaths of the so called “melting pot” and the idea that diversity creates strengths in communities.

In addition to explaining his reasons for the attack, he makes sure to emphasize why he carried out the actions through firearms and subsequently with violence.  He says chose firearms in New Zealand because he wanted to send the message that no one in the world was safe from mass migration, not even the remotest areas of the world.

He eventually came to terms with violent means through a period spanning from April 2017 to the end of May 2017, where he saw the Stockholm Truck Attack claim the life of Ebba Akerlund, the loss of Marine Le Pen in the 2017 presidential elections, and the overwhelming migrant populations in French cities and towns. His radicalization also came about due to inspirations from Candace Owens and Sir Oswald Mosely and through the works of notable mass shooters like Dylan Roof and Anders Breivik.

The last sections of the manifesto consist with special letters to different factions and establishments. In them, he begins by cursing the conservatives for destroying ethnic autonomy through pursuing rich labor and the environment through overconsumption and pollution. He further cites conservatives as the main drives behind the destruction of a European national and religious identity through the pursuit of individualism, sovereignty of private property, and as mentioned before, cheap labor through mass migration.

Going further, he preaches the Christians to remember the words of Pope Urban II and take up arms like their ancestors in the crusades. He then reiterates his hate towards Antifa and Marxists, and reminds the Turks that they are not European but possible enemies who should stay on the east side of the Bosporus.

In the last thirty pages or so, Tarrant reminds his audience that all of these circumstances are due to the weakening of the European man. That is, the fact that Europeans have allowed ideas such as diversity and globalization to seep through their ranks and cause self-deprecation within their own ethnic pride, which as a result left their flanks open for invasions through mass migrations.  An eco-fascist and stern environmentalist, he sees no traditionalism without environmentalism, and remedies such as controlling the birthrates and allocating resources away from mass migration and uncontrolled urbanization, should protect the Earth and ensure each nation and ethnicity’s sanctity.

He then delves into paradox of diverse equality: the idea that with diversity comes equality, but since different races offer different values and abilities, there can never be equality. He reminds his readers of the dangers of both armed and unarmed invaders, with more emphasis on the latter term has a social stigma and carries imprisonment. For this, he finds them unarmed invaders to be more dangerous.

The last chapters deal with the need for a populist movement, a fighting spirit amongst the European mass, and a Europe for the Europeans. He urges his supporters to take the initiative and fight, and warns them not to wait until they become the minority. He cites high profile targets such as Globalized Capitalists and individualistic notions, and even leaders like Erdogan and Merkel. He then wraps the manifesto with chapters calling for the mobilization of ethnically European nations (including Canada, Australia, and United States), and the survival of the white race.

The last two pages or so deal with him bidding farewell and telling his audience that he will see them in Valhalla, with the Black Sun sigil looming over the first and last pages of the manifesto.

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