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Atta Elayyan, Developer of MetroTube and LazyWorm Apps, Killed in Christchurch (dailyesports.gg)
871 points by twistedlogicx on Mar 18, 2019 | hide | past | web | favorite | 215 comments

He wasn't just a programmer. He was also a Counter-Strike: Source pro and a legend of the New Zealand CS scene. He was a goalkeeper for the country's national futsal team (indoor-soccer) and won two national titles and a player of the year award. He was a car enthusiast who custom-built a beautiful BMW and won the "Best V8 Engine" award at a show and shine competition. On top of all of that, he was a programmer who founded LazyWorm Apps and developed apps like MetroTube and Tweetro+. According to one of the lead software guys at Microsoft, MetroTube was once the most popular app on the Windows store.

Most importantly, he was a father of a 2-year-old girl.

His loss is tragic and I had to write about it. I shared this elsewhere and I was referred to this amazing place and asked to share it here as well, so I did.

Thank you to anyone who reads his story.

Thanks for writing this - it's an awesome read about a fantastic guy. Atta worked for me for 7 years in Christchurch (the last 3-4 years he was doing these apps on the side, then setting up his business). He was a lovely positive guy and I had total respect for him. Our two companies would catchup occasionally and we all enjoyed his company. He was a real role model to anyone who wanted to be the best they can. It's such a great shame this has happened and I feel so sad for his family (his father was also shot but is in Hospital). Unbelievable that this has happened.

Thank you so much for your words and I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend.

I hope those that are suffering most from his absence (and the absence of all of the other Christchurch victims) can some day reach a point of healing.

Good words. I attended university with Atta many years ago and we remained (distant) friends since. He was a legend back then as a CS:S player and a BMW enthusiast, and pretty good at our regular "Quake Breaks" as well.

His company LWA Solutions, that was born out of LazyWorm Apps, did some work for the company I work for. Atta in particular was a driving force behind some of their really cool innovations - in VR. He was one of the first people I knew of who was using a tablet as a mock UI sketchbook, and producing some really cool work despite the awful capacitive touch pens of the time.

It's so difficult to reconcile his murder. He was such a genuine guy with so much ahead of him, and I'm so sorry for his family.

I appreciate these comments from the people who knew him more than anything else. Thank you for your words and I'm so sorry for your loss.


Reconcile, despite its economic association, can also mean to 'come to terms with' something, i.e. to accept that this man has passed away.

Thanks for reminding us, all of us, that the people affected by hate crimes are people with stories, just like us, not numbers. Same ambitious, similar hobbies, beloved, and gone too soon.

It's insane how many really, really, good people we lose to tragedies like this... 9/11 took away one of the founders of Akamai(the CDN company). Even the recent 737 crash took away some really accomplished people from humanity. It's a constant reminder of the fragility of life and how easily one can lose a loved one or oneself these days.

It's insane how many people we lose to tragedies like this.

Every person is valuable. We shouldn't just lament the loss of people with notable accomplishments. We should mourn every single person, and do what we can to prevent this from happening again.

The point is that "50 dead in Christchurch" can be hard to internalize, especially when these tragedies are arriving so hot on the heels of other tragedies. Our human brain is really good at remaining distant. We tend to take our own lives for granted until we're in dire straights.

These kinds of pieces help us reify the incredible gut-wrenching gravity of human loss.

"Every person is valuable"

That's a truism, no one would deny that.

But stories make a larger impact and are most valuable when you hear these tragic events. Otherwise all you're left with is number of death counts, which brings far less consideration for distant people, sadly.

I think a good point is raised about why this guy. There were 50 people that all had lives, but we picked on the tech guy. It ends up feeling mildly disrespectful. Like we aren't remembering this guy because of his achievements, we're remembering him because of how he died, and now he's been reduced to his achievements.

I don't know. You could make a case that people in the community knew him, so it makes sense to remember him. Maybe its 'good' that he had any positive achievements worthy of note at all. Most deaths don't warrant even a footnote.

>There were 50 people that all had lives, but we picked on the tech guy. It ends up feeling mildly disrespectful.

Let's be realistic - there being a "tech guy" is the only reason this story is on topic. Hacker News is not supposed to be a place to discuss mainstream events, however tragic they may be, or the deaths of people not relevant to the tech community.

My comment wasn't complaining about HN focusing on the tech guy. It was specifically a response to the sentiment

> It's insane how many really, really, good people we lose to tragedies like this

A story about the tech guy is a reason to be on HN. But statements like the above just serve to trivialize the deaths of those not deemed "really good people".

>That's a truism, no one would deny that.

Many deny that all the time in practice. Even openly.

Losing the people in that way - people that were part of a bigger community and people who contributed to that community - is very tragic, it causes so much pain.

But when you say every person is valuable - can you define valuable.

What about people that are more like psychopaths, just take, abuse and exploit... what is their value?

For example, I don't really see myself as particularly valuable to this planet - I don't contribute anything meaningful, nothing that advances us forward in a positive way.

All I do is try to reduce the damage I do on this planet (climate change etc).

So how do you define valuable?

Speaking from the perspective of a monotheistic believer, my sense of universal human value goes back to the concept of "God created mankind in his own image", and the way over history that has lead to inalienable human right such as "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights".

One might argue that people who choose a destructive life path diminishes their inherent reflection of (a good) God, and should a lesser value, for which I can sympathize with. However, the concept of a God that makes good on covenants with unfaithful people forms this opinion of mine: each person in this world, despite doing wrong, was initially created equally by being in God's image. So long as God continues to treat mankind with equal value, so must I (and others who believe this God-based attribution of equal human value).

Hope that helps, at least from one angle of it.

Thanks for your perspective.

So the way I understood it is that every person has the potential to be like God (even if they are the Christchurch killer, Hitler and the likes), so that's why they are valuable.

I get that concept, I just don't see how we can be practical about it. For example, I think most people would probably say that mass murderers, child rapists etc don't bring any value to our society or habitat and that those people are 'beyond repair'.

I just had a problem with the statement "Every person is valuable" - first what is Eridiu's definition of valuable and also it needs to be a bit more specific or not be so absolute.

Sure, thanks for the thoughtful response.

I agree that being practical is hard. It makes me think that the "leap of faith" isn't the belief in God's greatness and that we each have a bit of it, but actually treating others as valuable as God would consider them. Some rare individuals practice a radical forgiveness which attests to the authenticity of their faith or principles, but certainly these stand out because they are so incredibly rare.

What you mentioned, about the thinking that there are those beyond repair, who have caused so much destruction that they seem to have lost all of the image of God that they were created with–I can sympathize with that, too. If someone takes the image of God and commits evil (especially when it's irreversible like death or trauma), that is certainly negative value. That would deserve eternal punishment, while which is something that is also hard to understand practically, seems helpful here.

An interesting way to put it would be that God exists as the ideal, and while people aspire to any number of ideals, they resort to living "practically" since they are not "actually" God, but just in his image.

Sorry if I'm beating a dead horse. I appreciate defining or at least contextualizing and framing things, too. Talking with you has helped me articulate my own beliefs better as well. Thanks.

To put this in perspective, over 150 thousand people die every day. About 2 die every second. You can't mourn them all, and you'd probably get severe depression if you genuinely tried your best.

I'd guess the point is that saying that a tragic event takes away some 'accomplished' people appears to diminish the loss of the unaccomplished people. So the statement would refer to all people lost in that tragic event, not that we should consider all people when one/few die...

But conversely, if you mourn only the people lost in that tragic event, doesn't that diminish the loss of people who die in no less tragic events that don't get publicity? (which is the vast majority of them).

My point was that it's all cherry picking, because you can't mourn everybody, and we don't even try. Draw a line far enough, and beyond that death and suffering is all very abstract, even if we do know about it. And mostly we do not - although we know where to go if we wanted to find out, we don't want to find out; events of comparable magnitude and depravity happen in some areas of the world with far more regularity.

So it feels a tad hypocritical to focus on this particular way to cherry pick as disrespectful.

I agree, I only refer to when a particular event is noted (cherry-picked by the media) that we don't call out the 'smarter' people as a greater loss within that context.

Then write posts about those people too. Someone took the time to write about someone who meant something to them. Without someone like you taking the time to do the same we aren't going to know about the others. Be the solution you want to see.

I think every death is a tragedy, whether it's from a terrorist attack, or from aging-related disease.

>Even the recent 737 crash took away some really accomplished people from humanity

And some less accomplished, if those matter at all...

This kind of thing is why the "NPC" meme and other dehumanizing language is so dangerous. Everyone is a person with a story, achievements, fears, and family. Often really surprising.

That meme never registered as problematic to me (at least by meme standards) but you’re correct.

I always felt it outed its creators as lacking theory of mind; why does a large group of people have different shared beliefs than me? They must lack the ability to think independently like everyone else in my cliquey subculture!

But let's acknowledge the truth that there are plenty of people who really don't think critically. Certainly some people will label others as "not thinking critically" when they really just think differently, but let's agree the former category does exist, and it's not a small population.

But most people do think critically. Have you considered this phenomenon to simply be shared or group cognition (also something nearly everyone experiences), rather than a lack of critical thinking skills?

I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree about most people thinking critically. I don't have anything other than personal experience to justify my position and a quick Google search wasn't able to turn up any convincing studies.

Group cognition (from a quick skim of a Wikipedia article about it) doesn't seem to justify lack of individual critical thinking though. It seems to be more like a term to describe a process, like "memes" and "idea viruses". It doesn't substitute for individual critical thinking.

Everyone is a person with a story, but living life with that awareness is unnecessarily burdensome. Self-awareness is more important than the awareness of others’ stories.

Obsession with other people’s life stories leads to hero worship and constant comparison with them, making you unhappy because you couldn’t check off as many checkboxes as them. This is another form of unhealthy thinking, the inverse of narcissism.

What is unnecsssry? What is obsession? Any contradiction between self aware and be empathy with your human life live sane time as you.

You can live a life that concern only yourselves. Yes! Life is impermanent, obsessive with oneself and pain is everywhere. As a branch of Buddhism would said.

You can also note if that is so all religion and all givernment can disappear as love thy Neigbour, be empathy and still with the world instead of going to nirvana himself, many governments are bad but anarchy may not be good either.

No one sure what is the best approach for one life. But what you said seems odd.

May those died live in peace now. Let the living continue. We will continue do evil and good thing. Choose. Every seconds of it. That is life. RIP ultimately we all know.

I don't think of the NPC meme as especially harmful. Although I don't propagate this meme, I think it's an interesting way of poking fun at people who truly don't think critically about their opinions and sort of absorb opinions by osmosis from the media. I think a strategy of poking fun at people who don't think critically might be one of several possibly useful ways to change that trend. The NPC meme also seems like a possibly useful way to psychologically deal with the fact that there are many people whose minds simply cannot be changed no matter how rationally you try to explain your perspective.

As with any idea, the danger is in misapplication. For example, if someone simply stops trying to change others' minds when it's really still possible but the NPC meme causes them to ignore that possibility, then it doesn't help improve the world. Or if a misguided individual who doesn't distinguish meme from reality uses it to dehumanize people in their mind, then that's a problem.

I played countless games of casual CS with Atta while running GotGames, which hosted the majority of Aus/NZ pro CS:S tournaments back in the day.

He was a kind and warm influence in a scene which harbored its fair share of immaturity and vitriol. He'll be sorely missed.

Holy crap. How many things can a guy do? That's a bunch of different and varied interests.

Thank you so much for writing the story.

Thank you for this beautiful story. Each person is a universe and clearly his loss will be felt by many. This mad world we live in saddens me greatly.

Thanks for writing and posting this.

Sounds like someone I would've been friends with. Thanks for bringing humanity to the headline.

Thank you for sharing his story.

It’s saddening how many people are robbed of the kind of friendship they could have with people who are different yet the same in so many ways, because of this learned hatred.

This is a great writeup. Thanks for sharing.

I do wish you had mentioned that he is originally Palestinian.


WTH. We’re appreciating the life of this one guy, whom many of us happen to relate to because we’re also programmers. That doesn’t diminish the lives of anyone else who was slain at Christchurch.

One common phrase I hear among people who are concerned about an equitable and just world is "representation matters." Most often it seems to refer to representation in civic office, or desirable employment positions, and the effect that visibility has on someone's conception of their potential to shoot for a position as a goal.

I wonder if it also matters more in profiles like this. It's a beautiful portrait that highlights one dimension of the tragedy of the crime.

If we had more profiles like it that came well before eulogies, I wonder how far it might go to beating back the tendency to flatten conceptions of Muslims (or any ethnic/racial identity) to the kind of demonized status that's required in order to plan a terrorist attack like Christchurch.

Exactly around the same time an American strike in Afghanistan killed a number of children. That's justified violence which is political, this is unjustified violence which though is aimed at the political is individual. To me both are tragedies of similar magnitudes. One group lacking representation and considered the "other" while another group considered a part of "us".


The hazards of military action including the inevitable civilian casualties (intended or not) are an important topic for consideration. And there's a good case that US Citizens have grown way too complacent about them (and even if we haven't, you check anyway, otherwise that's how you get too complacent).

But this isn't really a contest. Everyone's attention is finite, but my guess is the overlap is pretty big between people who are stung by the horror and senselessness of the Christchurch attack and people who are concerned about the moral problems and fallout of military action.

Depends on how you frame the military violence. On the ground level there may be no intention of causing harm to individual civilians. On the much larger executive level it's about shock and awe, to beat the population into capitulation. That's exactly the aim of this sort of violence. Shock and awe. To this individual, this was shock and awe in service of his political objectives.

It's violence with political aims. Violence with political aims is ultimately a policing matter. You use better policing to snuff it out. Military interfering in the affairs of other nations for political objectives is inexcusable and should be deplored just as this is.

Shock and awe ended after the initial invasion. Current military leaders are perfectly well aware that it's impossible to beat the population into capitulation. Collateral damage is usually caused by incompetence, violations of the rules of engagement, or a brutal calculation that some non-combatant deaths are an acceptable price to take out a legitimate target.

> acceptable price to take out a legitimate target.

No targets are legitimate for you, when you're the invader. You're the only legitimate target.

It sounds rough, and its something US citizens will probably never swallow or accept, but in both Iraq and Afghanistan US is a pure force of evil as time showed. Simple fact - the country and its citizens would be statistically far better under horrible Taliban/Saddam rule rather than under very unstable and increasingly marginal US rule. Taliban would not kill the amounts caused by these invasions in 100 years, and children for example wouldn't be affected. As for Iraq, Saddam would be a blessing compared to hell this country went through in last 15 years since Bush jr. decided to please some powerful people behind Rumsfeld and Cheney.

US lost both wars, beaten by poor guys with AKs, IEDs and suicide bombers. Iraq is more complicated because its semi-functional but Afghanistan is lost cause even according to US military.

Indeed. In both Afghanistan and Iraq, the US initially supported agents who were enemies of its enemies. But then those agents became enemies. And innocent people suffered and died, all for power games.

In Afghanistan, the US initially supported the Taliban against the Soviets. Just like in Vietnam. And then the CIA trained Osama and al-Qaeda, with financial support from the Saudis. But once the Soviets were gone, the downsides of the Taliban and al-Qaeda became evident. Oppression of women. International operations. So the US invaded.

In Iraq, the US initially supported Saddam, because he was tough on Communists, and not overtly Islamic. Like those nice Turks. Except that he was rather fascist, but hey. And then they supported him against Iran, which had thrown off US domination (i.e., the Shah) and frightened allies (Israelis and Saudis). But then he pissed off the Saudis, and started talking too much about international operations. So the US kicked them out of Kuwait, starved them and sporadically bombed them for a few years, and finally invaded.

What a mess.

There is no evidence that US forces ever directly trained Osama bin Laden.


That's not surprising. I mean, the CIA admittedly destroyed records about torture in Iraq.

One thing is an attack that will result in some civilian deads, by an organization that has spent ungodly sums to make their bombs as accurate as possible, to develop the best technology and whoes EOD guys now have/had to dispose suicide bombers after ISIS figured out that you can attach them to children and force them to run at the US forces.

The other is an absolutely looser who spent time figuring out how to kill the most civilians, the most effectively while self-grandising online.

I have my reservation about the US military and its proper use, but there is no world where the two are comparable.

Muslim is neither ethnicity nor race.

You're technically correct. You don't think it's an ethnic identity from the perspective of white supremacists and the immigrants they are targeting?

إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ‎

Born in Kuwait a few years before the Invasion to a Palestinian family. They probably escaped to NZ either due to the war or due to Kuwait's wrath against Palestinians after the war [0]. And met with this end in his new homeland.

So unfortunate.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_exodus_from_Kuwait...

What a horrible waste of a wonderful person. We should all do what we can to make sure society completely rejects the out-moded and dangerous ideology that caused this.

You know, I might easily agree with you, except that this was not "caused" solely by ideology, and to believe this might be not only misleading, but also quite dangerous. The nihilistic sociopath who has perpetrated this heinous act would like nothing more than for people to increasingly magnify his vacuous, meaningless 'ideology', by which he clearly hoped to mislead the public into following his deranged delusion, that fame and self-aggrandizement for him might result from mindless murder; from destroying the best that life has to offer on this Earth. Let's not give him that, let's not fall into this trap he has cleverly laid out for us. We should simply wholesale-reject that outrageous, inhumane way of thinking, and not give it even that hint of dignity that this incredibly misleading term, "ideology", might imply.

I’d like to introduce you to the idea of stochastic terrorism.


The stochastic terrorist is the person who is responsible for the incitement. For example they go on radio or television and stir up hatred toward a particular person or group.

one might add that, inaction (failure to condemn an act) can be as powerful a signal as action (calling for a specific act). This lack of condemnation has the signature of the current political elite all over (Trump's failure to condemn Christopher Paul Hasson, or saying "there is blame on both sides" in Charlottesville are very real examples).

I looked into this once.

There is no such thing.

Please stop linking to articles promoting this discredited concept. Just because someone has an interesting idea doesn't make it true!

It's definitely a thing. It simply goes by less-sexy names of "incitement" or "agitation."

But by those monikers, it's not only a recognized process, it's a legal issue with ramifications.

Osama bin Laden never killed anyone. His words were enough to justify his execution by the military of a foreign nation because he engaged in incitement.

> Osama bin Laden never killed anyone. His words were enough to justify his execution by the military of a foreign nation because he engaged in incitement.

Although, I understand your point. However, and I would like to say that I do not know the details of this, OBL was originally charged with the killing of Silvan Becker, a German intelligence agent and his wife Vera in Libya. That was against him specifically. Now, I am not sure if he actually pulled the trigger or was involved in some other way.

Good point; I had forgotten his INTERPOL arrest call. But it's still worth observing that the US didn't invest in a Seal Team deployment to take down an INTERPOL fugitive.

Which aspects “are not true”?

"The Fake News Media has NEVER been more Dishonest or Corrupt than it is right now. There has never been a time like this in American History. Very exciting but also, very sad! Fake News is the absolute Enemy of the People and our Country itself!"


Remember when one of his fans mailed pipe bombs to a bunch of journalists?

I realize this might not be the best place to hash this out due to the format but I feel compelled to respond. I just encourage you personally to think about this matter holistically. That is, people dont do, say, and think things in a vacuum. They _inherit_ their notions and behaviors from their environment, and that's all I meant by "ideology." You can rest assured that when I use the word ideology I use it advisedly and after much thought.

No matter what you believe, or what he believed, evil is only ever done by human hands and in this case those hands were moved by a world view and belief system that were outlined in a (absurd) 78+ page "manifesto." We can not afford to ignore this fact. Nor can we afford to ignore that as with any line of thinking about the world there are many other people who have adjacent and related beliefs. Yes, it might be the case that what makes people who think that way into killers is "nihilistic sociopath[y]" but the unfeeling among them are raised and encouraged by a whole community. That's the real reason why I think it's important to look past the incident in isolation and remember:

This man has a community.

We can't undo what happened but we can each individually make an effort to understand why people end up in that community, how to identify them, and hopefully how to keep our sons from ending up there in order to keep another such atrocity from happening again. Part of that is, as you say, by "wholesale-reject that outrageous, inhumane way of thinking". It just seems clear to me that it must be actively rejected. We must actively deplatform and remove people who parrot what he did from our community. To that end we must understand why it is and has been for hundreds of years so alluring to people that it leads a subset of them to some of the worst violence humanity perpetrates.

The oppressed can never afford to ignore the beliefs and, yes, ideologies of their oppressors.

We should still reject that ideology.

We should reject most, if not all, ideologies.

An ideology is just a system of values and ideas about the world. Everyone has one.

To a certain extent yes, but unfortunately it's more than just a set of principles.

Ideologies tend to lead to fanaticism, embracing a simplified and rigid view of social reality.

I'm particularly wary of all the *-isms.

I shall warn you about nonideologism -ism then.

I can see that I sounded like I was one of those, but I have strong set of principles which lean toward some doctrines and yes, some ideologies in practice.

My point was more to be cautious of those who are very strict from the theoretical side of the said ideologies in their purest form.

A person should not believe in an ism. They should believe in themself.

If you read philosophy you'll find (happily, i think) that you're not alone in your thoughts and beliefs. Your whole mind is intertwined with thousands of years of development of those beliefs and the physical structures they created that then reinforce them.

And in any case, you can't really do anything interesting alone so it's better, in my opinion, to believe in others.

That is pure ideology, good luck being "non-ideological".


It's a real shame I can't directly embed a gif of Zizek sniffing here.

It's extremely dangerous to believe that its possible to not have an ideology. The idea that this is possible tends to come from whatever lets people think there's such a thing as "unbiased" or, indeed, that not applying ones biases is somehow a good goal.

Ideologies are like accents. Everyone has one. For some people, that ideology is the rejection of ideologies unconditionally.

Ooh, that's good. "Everyone has one, and they all sound incomprehensible to someone else".

As somebody with a neutral midwestern accent, I resent that statement. :)

If you want to financially show your support, the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh has a GoFundMe page https://www.gofundme.com/tree-of-life-stands-with-christchur.... It can be verified on their site and other channels.

It's important that victims of white supremacist terrorism stand together, and that decent people reject it.

Good read. It is tragic that he was killed in the name of anti-immigrant sentiment, when he seems to be a perfect example of an immigrant success story.

> when he seems to be a perfect example of an immigrant success story.

Either they are "unsuccessful" and "leeching of social benefits" or they are "successful" and "are stealing their jobs". It is a nationalist catch-22 were there are no successful immigrants, just insecure nationalists that feel disposable and in the process of "being replaced".

A more reasonable fear / complaint would be change / deterioration of local culture, in case the immigrants refuse to assimilate.

That is even more unreasonable, culture is constantly produced and changed, there isn't a "local culture" to assimilate to and a culture is richer the more diverse and exploratory it is.

On the other hand if you are using "culture" as a proxy for "they don't behave like us the colonizers of New Zealand" it is even worse. < https://www.wikiwand.com/en/M%C4%81ori_people >

  culture is constantly produced and changed, there isn't a "local culture"
That's a mindset that the Maori, like many other Aboriginal peoples, have already suffered.

That statement isn't meant as to say that people don't have or produce culture, specially first nations. Instead it is a statement about the non-locality of culture. (In the lines of https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Deterritorialization)

Even more, the attack on first nations have been mostly on economic aspects, mainly the land trough colonization. (See Mariategui Seven Essays on the Peruvian Reality, specifically the third essay https://www.marxists.org/archive/mariateg/works/7-interpreti..., original in spanish: http://resistir.info/livros/mariategui_7_ensayos.pdf )

The Maori culture is maintained by Maori people engaging in culture not merely by a museum exposing "the Maori cultre" and a society disenfranchizing Maori.

I’m using “culture” to mean “respect of democrcy, women and rule of (national, not religious) law”.

Obviously some cultures are better than others (in my and many other people’s value system) - do you prefer to live in NZ or Saudi Arabia?

I would rather live in Saudi Arabia today than as a Maori in NZ 50 years ago.

“Ah, but that was then, minorities have it better now.” So the culture (by your definition) has changed then? Perhaps thanks to immigration and globalization?


Religious flamewar is not welcome on Hacker News. Please do not post like this here again.


Edit: your account has recently been using HN primarily for political and ideological battle. That's a wrong turn on this site. Please correct it. This is in the guidelines as well.


You're posting this in a thread which commemorates a deceased person who seems to have been the exact opposite of everything you write about. He was gunned down while practicing his religion. Yet we're supposed to believe that his religion is the problem here.

Yet we have an example of a man practising his religion and living completely ( seemingly ) compatible with the liberal society until he was gunned down. However, you are now saying that it's actually his religion that's the problem.

I'm a child of immigrants 'refusing to assimilate', in that I am teaching my kid the language of my parents, which is not the language of my country. We have books & videos in this language and go to a Saturday school for the language that teaches about ethnic traditions.

I get nothing but praise for this, even from the people who grouch about "refusing to assimilate", even from people grouching about "refusing to assimilate" while eating hummus on tortilla chips.

In my experience, it's because I'm white. Like Trump's "good immigrants" from Norway.

No, that's not what I meant. Most cultural diversity is good, amazing even. I refuse to accept the concept of "cultural appropriation" (e.g. a non-Arab eating or making hummus), and replace it by "cultural appreciation" instead. I wish there's more mixing of cultures, languages, clothing styles, cuisines (fusion is the best!), worldviews, etc.

The problem is when cultures disagree on the fundamental principles that run society. For example, Western civilisation (according to current mainstream views, which are not necessarily correct or sustainable) clashes mainly on freedom of speech (with Islam), rule of law (with China and other totalitarian cultures), rights of women & minorities (with Islam and Orthodox Judaism), sex (with Islam & Christianity), marriage (with Christianity & Islam) etc. I don't really see a solution except for one side to give up their principles, and I sincerely hope it's not the Western Civ (except when it comes to marriage, I'm very live and let live so I see nothing wrong with polygamy)!

Acting like the locals - acting like the European colonizers - is ironically what this and other white supremacists fear. In order for Muslims and other immigrants to assimilate, they would have to act very differently from how European immigrants acted when they first came.

Can’t both complaints be valid? Working immigrants push wages down, which is great for business, but how is it good for the people? OTOH, immigrants who struggle with integration are an obvious burden on many levels.

United we bargain, devided we beg.

Who’s „we” in this context? Everybody in the world? I don’t think we can coordinate on this scale (which would be required for collective bargaining), at least not yet.

so what you're saying is that as more people are dis-enfranchised, they will resort to more and more violent means to try to enact change.

I don't think this has anything to do with white supremacy or nationalism - but that those ideologies are easy to use as justification.

So in the end, the only way to solve this problem is to prevent dis-enfranchisement of the poor and vulnerable. UBI is my go to solution.

¿How is an UBI going to help the feeling of "being useless / unnecessary / a burden" and seeing immigrants as the ones "taking away" their jobs as capital opts for outsourcing and automation?

The abhorrent coward assailant wasn't even lumpen to begin with.

> an UBI going to help the feeling of "being useless / unnecessary / a burden" and seeing immigrants as the ones "taking away" their jobs

they'd have enough to persue some alternate goal, rather than be radicalized by those who seeks to prey on the disenfranchised.

I m not talking about this individual, but in general. If you look at people who suicide bomb, they are often poor, often have nothing to lose, and often is promised something in return (whether it's heaven in the after life, or benefits for their family?).

By taking away these sorts of people (and UBI is one way), it makes it harder to recruit for terrorism or other fundamentalist ideology.

yep, he wasn't poor or vulnerable.

The terrorist who killed him, and people like him, don't care. Their attitude towards immigration is ideological (white ethnonationalism), not utilitarian.

He seems to be a wonderful man and my prayers are for him and his family. But I wanted to add something that seems to be better written by the author of the article already.

> Atta Elayyan was just one of 50. Remember him, but don’t forget to remember the other lives that were lost that day, each with their own story, their own path, and their own mark on this world.

I find I just cannot conceptualize 50, just like I cannot conceptualize 10000. It’s too much.

I can understand the one that was just presented to me.

If you want to conceptualize just how terrible the loss of fifty people is, imagine this story happening to somebody you know. It doesn't matter who, just pick somebody. Then pick another person, and then another, and another, until you've got dozens.

It will probably be overwhelming by the time you hit ten people (and probably not a useful exercise to continue past that), but does it help to conceptualize it.

Well, from a NZ perspective 50 is, as a percentage population-wise, greater than the death toll from 911 in the US - we expect our government to take equivalent level of actions to those the US took against alQuaeda/etc against white supremacists/alt-right supporters to remove future threats from our community.

How would you suggest doing that exactly?

alQuaeda/ISIS = External threats where you can put the blame on a specific area of the world, then promote war politics. I'd be curious to hear your opinion on how effective post 9/11 politics were in that manner. It's not like evil was eradicated, plus the collateral damage.

Is there a factory that make white supremacists where we should drop bombs?

Beware of the slippery road to define that "factory", also.

I think that's kind of the point of my rather tongue in cheek follow up below

We will have to keep an eye on this very dangerous part of our population in the future, we'll start by denying them access to the worst sorts of weapons so they can't be so dangerous in the future.

When you say "denying them access to the worst sorts of weapons", are you proposing that certain group can keep their rights of access while others cannot? How can you really apply that in an objective manner?

Or perhaps you mean in a broader sense remove them access to all kind of platforms to not spread hateful messages?

Those are dangerous discriminatory power to give, as today it might target your opponents and tomorrow yourself.

The reason I bring this up is not because I care about white supremacists per se, but because it's a tool to start applying "hate speaches" politics, where hate is itself very subjective and too often interpreted as "things I don't like to hear".

We are changing our gun laws here in NZ and likely doing it this week, although what that change looks like isn’t clear to me. https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/385081/christchurch...

these days the word slippery seems to be a code word for "do nothing".

This is because government does not have the right to punish people by association. It's an unfortunate consequence of freedom principles: Bad things can happen, and you can work to prevent bad things from happening, but you must be extremely judicious in how you do so or you fall into tyranny.

So very often the only thing to actually do is punish those responsible for bad things, sadly after the bad thing has already occurred.

> we expect our government to take equivalent level of actions to those the US took against alQuaeda/etc against white supremacists/alt-right supporters to remove future threats from our community.

No-fly lists, large-scale warrantless wiretapping, and waterboarding of suspects?

(however we probably wont be invading Australia to root out the white supremacist threat there, nor Antarctica because someone in the PM's family has a beef with penguins)

How about chastising the major world leader (of a New Zealand ally) who the shooter spent a lot of time quoting, and whose supporters and ideology were clearly a strong influence to the shoooter?

Funny how you blame all "alt-right supporters" for violence, similar to how so many of them blame all "Muslims" for terrorism.

Alt right is a political term coined by a white supremacist, and encapsulates reactionary ideologies and intolerant, hateful and violent attitudes towards certain races, faiths and nationalities. Those who identify with the term or act accordingly can be accurately grouped with their ethos of violence, and have their ethics and politics more accurately summed than entire nationalities and/or world religions can.

> encapsulates reactionary ideologies and intolerant, hateful and violent attitudes towards certain races, faiths and nationalities.

Islam is a reactionary ideology and encapsulates intolerant and violent attitudes towards certain beliefs, genders and sexual orientations.

Islam was a reactionary to the 6th century tribalistic pagan arab . See the history of early Islam [1]. It encompasses changes including racial equality, Women's right and social security.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_social_changes_under_Isl...

from Google:

"reactionary" adjective opposing political or social progress or reform.

I really hate this word, it makes no logical sense, but that’s language for you :D

Did you already forget the millions of muslims who tried to rise up (and were mostly denied unfortunately) to throw out the dictators in their respective countries in 2012?

Their sole act of resistance against those dictatorships just contradicts your stance that Islam is a reactionary ideology. It's a religion, and as such, encompasses too broad a spectrum of beliefs and interpretations for you to simply put that under the same umbrella and call the entirety "reactionary".

I suggest you follow İyad el-Baghdadi[0] (the Emirati, now Norwegian citizen, not ISIS chief evidently) because you'll learn a lot about Islam that you probably didn't know.


I will.

Although looking through his tweets, this doesn't look very promising:


He's making up a strawman "reject Sharia" argument, whereas most criticism is clearly meant (and usually also worded) as "reject Sharia law". Pretty dishonest (although that's how politics works, if it's not divisive propaganda nobody listens).

Ah I see. Yes, coming for non-native speaker, english is sometime confusing.

Anyway Islam seems like reactionary if you look at it from today standards and in need of a reform (which I believe it's happening right now). But it really had some progressive ideas for the times even compared to their neighbour medieval Europe.

This is sad but quite true. Whenever you can, when seeing news about an attack big or small try and push your mind to empathize with them more, it's important to realize what cost terrorist attacks and mass shootings have on our society.

I get the message, sure, but relating to just one person is an excellent starting point, especially in situations where the victims might be “the other”.

The guy appears to have been heavily into online games. If this fact humanises him to one young gamer whose head is in danger of being turned by the alt-right then I think it does the memory of the other 49 proud.

Ohh that is absolutely right. Articles like this transform a tragedy from a number to reality for most of us. But it then helps us remember that this story, this life is just one of the many.

The other aspect I wanted to touch which I know is hard and I don't know if I can do it successfully is that every life has dreams and meaning. This person seemed great in many ways accomplished, helpful and humble. But while others might not be accomplished or life that we can't easily relate to their friends and family the loss is equally shocking and horrible. As many people said and which is true for me too, that it's hard to internalize so many lost lives, such numbers. But we can try even if we are not fully successful.

I'm just worried about the filter bubble, the ones that agree with you will see this and other articles like it. People with hate will see totally different articles fuelling their hate. Social media will have a lot to answer to sooner or later.

I came across the donation page setup for his family "Atta Elayyan's Young Family" [1]

[1] https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/help-atta-elayyans-family

Great read, thanks for posting.

To me, one thing that's not being discussed much is that Europeans only settled in New Zealand around 200 years ago, pretty short in the history of humanity. You could ask the Maori people how they feel about Europeans showing up and taking their land and destroying their culture, yet they are not gunning us down in cold blood.


NZ is somewhat unusual in that the colonizers neither won overwhelmingly (as in Australia and North America), nor eventually receeded (most of Africa), but struck a peace treaty and then stuck to it, building a mostly-peaceful society on that basis.

I’m torn. On one hand I think we should think about the “motives” of these monsters and try to explain why they are wrong m, like you just did.

On the other side, I don’t want to legitimize even a semblance of rationality exhibited by this guy. Even if Europeans had been in NZ for a thousand years, this is not the right response.

As I've written already ITT, the last thing I would want is for the attacker to receive even a shred of legitimacy - but I nonetheless think parent commenter raises a very good point! Because see, that individual would sure like us to think that Europeans are in some way the "rightful" inhabitants of New Zealand, the place where he carried out his hateful attack. Even a cursory knowledge of history would quickly evince to us just how nonsensical this notion is - yet he happily makes that argument anyway! And we are to believe that this attack was not in fact driven by the most heinous sort of murderous and destructive intent, with "politics" and "ideology" (even of the most radical sort one could possibly imagine) being merely the flimsiest of post-hoc rationalizations?

That is just so sad :(

I've never quite understood why Islamophobia is so prevalent in Australia. Even more than in the US, it seems.

So I found this.[0] It seems a great summary.

0) Briskman (2015) The Creeping Blight of Islamophobia in Australia. IJCJ&SD 4(3): 112‐121. https://www.crimejusticejournal.com/article/download/772/527

Everyone so deeply moved. And yet American bombs continue to fall. Hour after hour. Every single day. And no one gives a shit.

There are those who give a lot of a shit, and who are deeply disturbed and troubled, knowing families and innocents and children being maimed and killed are on our collective hands, and who do not know how the US can and should escalate, finish or withdraw from these conflicts without empowering butchers and terrorists to replace them, as well as killing or leaving even more friends and allies to die.

You do realize, that this is 100% bullshit? We have destroyed these societies by destroying them; we'll hardly do further damage by leaving them alone. Just compare Libya, a smoking ruin where we did all we felt it was necessary to do, with Syria, a now-largely-peaceful functioning nation with the good sense to protect itself from our predations. They have slave markets in Libya now. No regular person survives without regular protection payments to gangsters. Reporters don't dare venture there, they keep track of the carnage by counting the people washing up on Europe's southern shores. The best thing we can do to any nation is the best thing we could have done, always. Leave them alone. If they request, send some humanitarian supplies. Recently however we have screwed up even that simple task, by trying to use humanitarian efforts as a screen for undermining Venezuela's elected government. (Don't believe me? Just ask the Red Cross.)

I have to say that i really respect that you said this because it's the reality: fast violence gets international condemnation and slow, well-dressed violence gets valorized. I also have to say that even though many of us can't really do anything about the American war machine, there are many of us who give a shit.

> And no one gives a shit.

I understand it can feel frustrating, as if people have forgotten, but it's important to remember that there are plenty of people who do give a shit. Paying attention to one issue doesn't erase people's concern for another issue. Just don't stop caring.

A really touching piece about an awesome person. You’ll be missed.

Innalillahi wa innaillaihi roji'un. May God forgives all his sins, and reward him in the Hereafter for his virtues. I pray that his martyrdom and accomplishments have and will lead to a better world here in mortal life.

Also, I used to use MetroTube intensely when I have a Lumia phone back in 2013 or so. Thank you, Mr. Elayyan!

For some reason, this affects me a lot more than I want to admit.

I understand. I cried like four times writing the article. I almost gave up several times (especially near the start), because the more I read about him, the more I realized I was utterly unqualified to do him justice with my words. The only thing that kept me going was how much I wanted to tell people his story.

The amount of comments I've received since, with people telling me how much of an impact his story had on them, it's been more touching, more humbling and more rewarding than anything I ever could have expected.

Thanks for sharing his story.

I really liked how he was a passionate skillful gamer and developer and family guy and sporting guy. Yes, it's possible to fit all those in! I can only hope to cover half the bases he did.

Satya Nadella also mentioned him in his condolences


ISIS was growing and recruiting online for a while but then they were pretty effectively "deplatformed" internet-wide.

The growing white supremacist threat is not being treated anywhere near as seriously with a lot of free speech concerns that only seem to apply to white identity terrorism.

ISIS also deplatformed itself with it's ultra-violent and gory videos.

The white supremacists got this right, but starting with mellower content, memes, and not throwing one in directly in the deep end. Look at this guy, he avoided swastikas because he knows they are a huge turn-off to non-radicalized people.

They’re also fairly pointless as a symbol if you’re trying to say anything but ‘look how edgy I am!’


Agreed, but I think they're saying they start with more innocuous symbols and messaging at the beginning of their ideological radicalization.

Is there an actual organised white supremacist movement behind incidents like this?

As I understand it, ISIS has a logistical presence and can provide weapons and training as well as ideology. Is something similar happening with attackers like this, too?

I doubt there is (although people like Breivik seemed to at least claim to be connected to some sort of "knights templar" conspiracy community), but even if these people are organised only loosely, the platforms they are on still function as echo chambers were they continously gin each other up.

So I think OPs point is still very much valid. When we see isis terrorism or extremism we dismantle their organisations, put the full weight of our intelligence agencies behind it, and hound them to the other end of the world, as we should. But when we encounter extremism and terrorism in our very own communities, we let them joke about it on 4chan and reddit. There is something very wrong about that indifference.

We didn't go after ISIS because of the things they talked about, but because of specific crimes they committed as an entity, or conspired to commit.

And we didn't go after people that share their religion with ISIS (i.e. Salafi extremists), but are not otherwise involved with it, or at least we can't prove that they are.

What do you think is the reason counter-terror forces aren't moving quickly to address white supremacists?

Less experience? I mean until now, white supremacist terrorist attacks haven't been at the forefront of counter-terror forces. Why that may be? is another question altogether.

What do you mean by "at the forefront of counter-terror forces"? Like, they haven't been the most serious threat? Or are a strange new threat?

Essentially not considered that serious.

> Is there an actual organised white supremacist movement behind incidents like this?

I'd have to double check, but I'm not sure that all isis terrorist attacks were done by people who had physically met another isis member--I was under the impression that a number of them were just inspired by propaganda online, similar to so many of the far-right attacks we've seen over the past couple of years.

That's right. There was eventually an effort to inspire and give instructions "lone-wolf" attacks, so that a central organization couldn't be targeted. This is what white supremacists and nationalists are doing today, as it was quite successful for ISIS.

As I understand it, white supremacists and fellow travelers organize in looser groups than ISIS as an entity.

The term Scripted Violence, or Stochastic Terrorism are the terms I've heard, for messaging and ideology that repeatedly creates "lone wolves" with similar views and goals.

That's because a guy going into a mosque with a rifle decorated in nazi symbols and gunning down as many people as he can has to be just anything other that what it obviously is.

Ish. There is still plenty of ISIS crap floating around, it’s just targeted more effectively through direct social networks like whatsapp. My dad (!) had to ban from his football club’s chatgroup the father of one kid, because he insisted in spamming ultra-islamic crap. I’m pretty sure he’s still somewhere, forwarding shit to anyone who’ll listen.

It’s a very hard problem. The printed press indirectly generated the Protestant schism, which resulted in centuries of wars and murderous events. The internet is having an equivalent effect today.

The alternate reality that is the internet is a huge emerging social issue.

I have to say right off the bat, I'm not in favor of governments or big corporations being gatekeepers of what is allowed to be on the internet (moral hazard).

At the same time, views not in accordance with actual history (or indeed with reality) propagate at an amazing pace and certain subgroups readily embrace them as reality.

In case of shooter (reading his manifesto), he has a juvenile and one dimensional view of "white history" and "white culture" which fails to understand or account for movements of ideas and culture, and fallaciously lumps everyone of a certain skin tone into one cultural group. I have no doubt this view, fanciful as it is, was echoed by his fellows until it became absolute truth in his mind.

It is a problem, and not just for white supremacist types and radical Islamists either. Not sure the best solution or if there even is one.


Of course, the "can this be shown in Germany" flag isn't just on Nazi tweets; it's on anything which looks like it might be a Nazi tweet to a really dumb algorithm. Including anti-Nazi tweets, which as it turns out often reference Nazi imagery and terminology too. Seems it really isn't worth the effort or the risk to try and tease apart the two, given the legal danger of getting it wrong. Be careful what you wish for...

> Seems it really isn't worth the effort or the risk to try and tease apart the two

Yes. It is.

I keep hearing about this growing white supremacist threat, and while in some dark corners of the internet there do seem to be some examples of it, I can't say that I have any reason to think it's growing. What I've seen growing is the willingness of supposedly anti-racist groups to label as white supremacist anyone who disagrees with them on any issue, which is not helpful.

I'd be interested to learn why some seem to find this comment objectionable.

The growing white supremacist threat is indicated by the rise in hate crimes in the United States.


Two objectionable things:

- You’re wrong about the rise of right-wing extremist violence, as the sibling comment points out.

- This is a thread celebrating the life of someone killed by a right-wing extremist. Your reply is basically “I don’t think they are a problem, can’t we talk about mean SJWs instead”

This thread may have originally been about celebrating someone's life, but politics was inserted well before my comments.

Let's not buy into the argument of the increasing supremacist threat, which is more fear mongering based on a political agenda that plays on emotion rather than real data.

Happy to see real data that suggests a worldwide trend though, if any, that is not subjective.

"white supremacists in Canada and the U.S. killed at least 40 people, up from 17 in 2017."


1. That doesn't show any long term trend.

2. It isn't normalized against overall violence trends.

3. Although obviously terrible, it's still an incredibly small number of people in absolute terms. 259 people died while taking selfies since 2011 [0].

[0]. https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/03/health/selfie-deaths-trnd/ind...

And even less people are killed by terror threats worldwide. Also a small number of people die from shark attacks or from airplane crashes. It doesn't stop people from taking safety precautions.

What data would convince you that the threat of white supremacy is increasing?

Research done with a well designed methodology that explains how the data was classified in the first place.

It has to explain how it labels "hate" crimes; is the crime perpetrated by a clear member of the said group, how do you define the relation, etc.

What a horrible loss to humanity.

So many lives, so much potential.

There's no greater indictment of white supremacy than that a proponent who achieved basically nothing with their life, killed someone who was much much better than them.

You mean other than it being absolutely without any rational foundation or practical merit, and possibly being used as a justification for genocide?


While I generally agree with your sentiment about this issue, I don't agree about your particular statement.

For example, if it happened to be (and obviously it isn't), that 90% of white supremacists had PhDs and were in the 1% by income and wealth, that wouldn't prove anything either about whether their beliefs about whole races of people were correct.

Tragic, even more so when there are names to the otherwise unknown faces.


Is the difference between a hate crime and terrorist attack the desire to effect some sort of change through terror? E.g, someone shooting up a church is trying to terrorize churchgoers of that race to stop going to church?

I think hate crimes are terrorism, and I think all terrorism is bad.

And yes, this creates a chilling effect for immigrants and churchgoers. That's the intended result.

I understand many people don't want immigrants for economical or cultural reasons. That's okay. Killing everybody inside a mosque is not okay.

I completely agree with what you're saying. This is terrorism. This is Islamophobia. This is hatred. And all of that needs to stop.


Ask what you want, let us decide.


She didn't receive it personally, not everyone reads their emails immediately anyway, this is a red herring, the person responsible was the Aussie terrorist

Doubt she read it. Couldn't be distinguished in advance from the kind of rant that gets received every day.

I wonder what the baseline level of death threats to NZ parliament is. Has become rather high in the UK.

For such a prominent woman, in particular, there's likely to be a steady stream of hate and weirdness being handled by a team of frazzled aides.

Please do not name that document. It does not deserve to be readers it is designed to incite hatred. NZer.

As has been fairly publicly announced, the email was read and taken seriously and was forwarded to security services less than two minutes later.

Even if she had received and took it seriously, what do you expect her to do? 9 minutes to receive something, determine it is real, and do something about it is not a lot of time.

If she had gotten it a day or a week earlier, what was she supposed to have done with it? I mean, in terms of its political objective/demands?

> Violence is never justified. If one wants to achieve a political objective, always fight for it by political means.

There's a line of argument that all (governmental) politics is just the threat of violence, packaged in a velvet glove. (One short defense of that viewpoint: try not paying your taxes.)

I abhor violence in most cases, but I think it's a mistake to draw a stark division between the two.


Every killing carried out by a political extremist in the United States in 2018 was done by a right wing extremist.


Lets not think about this atrocity on terms or left or right. Such horrible acts were made in the name of both ideology wings.

> Such horrible acts were made in the name of both ideology wings.

Not in 2018. I wonder about 2017, or 2016?

If we close our eyes to what this is, we’ll never be able to stop it.

> Such horrible acts were made in the name of both ideology wings.

This is 100% not supported by the fact you're replying to: "Every killing carried out by a political extremist in the United States in 2018 was done by a right wing extremist."

It's like you're replying to "Today is Wednesday" with "Let's not think about days as Wednesday or Thursday. Today is named both Wednesday and Thursday." You can say that, but today is still Wednesday.

Wow, so much downvoting for just stating an obvious thing, that extremism is a bad thing, no matter the ideology behind it. On topic, I can't talk about 2018 because I dont have hard facts about it, but from 1992 through August 12, 2017 the distribution sets that 92% of killings were extreme islamic related, followed by a 6% of extreme right groups.[0]

Again, I find it very inappropriate to try to classify this by ideology. No extremism is less bad than the next one. No matter if its right or left, religious or any other type (remember rajneeshpuram?). Personally, as a non american I have suffered much more of left-wing terrorism (like bombs on subways; kidnapping, torture and killing), but again and again, it doesnt really matter.


Of course 92% of killings were "extreme Islamic related" if you count the total number of US deaths across a period that includes the World Trade Center attack, as your link does. That one attack alone accounts for over 89% of the terrorism-related deaths in that period. Cato acknowledges that, but still goes on to present "chance of being killed in a terrorist attack sorted by ideology" in a manner which ignores that 9 out of 10 of the deaths occurred in that one outsized attack. If we presented this same information asthe number of terrorist attacks on US soil that resulted in any deaths -- which is arguably more relevant if we're trying to present the likelihood of being caught in any fatal terrorist attack -- then white nationalist attacks would be far and away the ones to worry about in the US.

My point since the beginning of this thread was to reflect that sorting terrorist attacks by extreme ideology flavours is not something infind particularly appropriate. That was not the point why i linked it originally, but just to expand on the numbers presented by the previous message.

Why shouldn't we, when the perpetrator self-identified as a fascist?


Religious flamewar, which this comment crosses into, is not allowed on Hacker News. Please do not post like this here again.


I was responding to the unnecessary unhelpful comment that "Islamophobia" was "prevalent" in Australia even more than US. I live here, and disagree with that idea and I responded with reasons. No flames. Maybe delete comments that seek to label an entire country with sour accusations.

I believe you that that was your intention, but it's hard to see it in your GP comment, which also broke the site guidelines in several ways, such as with name-calling and flamebait.

I've noticed that when we post moderation comments, commenters sometimes respond with what they really meant to say. To them, the first and second versions are similar, but to an outside reader they usually seem very different.

I accept your reason, and will avoid further comments here on this topic. But I wish to clarify (to you) that I did not call anyone names. I called the term Islamphobia "stupid", because nothing good comes from using such a term.

It's not a real word. You allowed the comment on a tribute thread, to imply that Australia is to blame for the man's death, due to its racism/phobias.

A psychopath was to blame for NZ, not whatever that linked PDF on parent comment accuses Australia of. As an Australian, I can assure you we are hurting down here and in shock. But I will refrain from this point.

The guidelines use the term "name calling" in a somewhat different sense, basically referring to pejoratives that can be taken out of a comment without loss of information. "Stupid" counts as name-calling in that sense, even though you weren't calling anyone names in particular.


Religions and cultures generally evolve from very nasty towards less nasty. Of course sometimes there is a big lurch towards nastiness. However, (us?) secular humanists can best help religions become less toxic by inclusion rather than tribalist confrontation. I find it's better to frame one's principles and talking points as "religons must respect human rights" rather than,"Islam has always been violent and forces women to wear hijabs".

That's a good and positive idea in regards to framing principles towards human rights.

While inclusion is the antidote for exclusion, we are not faced primarily with an exclusion problem. There's simply been too many religious-justified atrocities and crimes from various religions. This world's violence and crime is ridiculous, and the details of the crimes are the extreme opposite of human rights.

I was taught that superstition was unhealthy. Perhaps I was brainwashed with anti-superstitious propaganda? My main "phobia" is: religion as a force in politics and education. Religion should stick to what it's good at - peaceful prayer gatherings. I support "freedom of peaceful prayer gatherings".

What happened at the mosques in NZ - unspeakable, sickening, the work of a deranged paranoid meat-head terrorist. More violence for fictitious reasons. Too long festering in corners with other truthers, confirming each other unchallenged; combined with likely sociopathic condition. (sorry for long post, passionate issues)

> Religion should stick to what it's good at - peaceful prayer gatherings.

That's a pretty a pretty simplistic view, given history.


my parents and all the wider family where (hardcore) Catholics, a lot of kids, in church 3-4 times a week, 2 cousins became priests, 1 a nun. I was an altar boy until 12 spent my holidays in Catholic summer camp nearly every year. Catholics they way I experienced them in my childhood, aren't any less prone to showing extremist tendencies.

Ask a Croatian women how they feel about having an abortion (legal in Croatia) performed without anaesthetics simply because the nun-(nurses) feel they should suffer, ... the abuse I have seen the Catholic church get away with (in places like Austria, Ireland, Croatia, Czech, Italy, ... to name my favorite backward Catholic extremist places in Europe) isn't any less violent or "backward" than Islam.

Nobody who is devout will at all accept even partial critic such as "opposing some aspects of <their religion>". Religious criticism is always total and considered an attack when it comes from somebody out of their faith group. It can only be discussed (respectfully) with people from the same religion (if at all). I haven't met any (Catholic) who would accept probing or questioning from an outsider.

If somebody says "yes but Catholics don't go blow up people", they're wrong. It happens/happened all the time in places like Indonesia or Ireland or when they are a minority that is under pressure. It doesn't matter what religion, if you push people hard enough they'll snap. Even more so if their homeland is bombed and they've already lost half their family.

Yes absolutely. If only religion didn't have so many manipulative inroads in society, and deeply festering problems from abuse to lies and corruption, to violence. Peaceful prayer it does pretty well for those who enjoy those gatherings. No complaints there.

Very sad. Indeed for all of those whose life ended in such circumstances.

If we could only figure out a way to get extremists to only focus on killing other extremists, we'd all be much better off.

This world is creation of our collective consciousness. We need a collective conscious effort to bring sanity to the sad state of the world today. Please join us in global meditation for peace on every Saturday http://blacklotusapp.org/

ATTA ELAYYAN' It is so good to read some one with common SENSE, IN MY FINAL YEARS ON THIS PLANET. iN MY 95 year. Having raised in a RC orphanage and thru all the RC's educations and then Married in a RC building (church) and we raised 2 girls , one married a RC wonderfull man and the younger girl married a Jewish wonderfull guy. However, they all gave up their parents cults and are "free at last", and HAPPY WITH LIFE.

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