‘You Should Try To Read Quran, It’s beautiful’ – Grieving Families Tell NZ Mosque Shooter

NZ Mosque Shooter

Families of victims gunned down at two New Zealand mosques have urged a judge to impose the toughest possible sentence, life without parole, on Brenton Tarrant. The gunman showed no remorse and appeared to smirk at one survivor during a sentencing hearing on Tuesday.

Mirwais Waziri was wounded during the 2019 attack at Christchurch’s Al Noor mosque. He put aside his prepared court statement on Tuesday. Waziri addressed the white supremacist, after seeing that he did not have “any regrets, any shame in his eyes”.

“He does not regret anything,” said Waziri in the High Court in Christchurch. The court is conducting day two of the sentencing hearings.

“Today you are called terrorist and you proved to the world that us Muslims are not terrorists. I say to the people of New Zealand that terrorists do not have religion, race, and color,” said Waziri.

Nathan Smith is another another survivor of the Al Noor mosque shooting. He also spoke directly to Tarrant who sat in grey prison clothes cornered by guards.

“When you get a free minute, which you will have plenty of. Funny, eh? Very funny. Maybe you should try to read the Koran. It’s beautiful,” he said, reacting to Tarrant’s apparent smirk.

Tarrant, a 29-year-old Australian, is scheduled to be sentenced this week after pleading guilty to 51 murders and 40 attempted murders. He is also facing one charge of committing a terrorist act during the 2019 shooting which he live-streamed on Facebook.

Prosecutors have told the court Tarrant planned the attacks to cause maximum deaths.

No parole

A murder conviction carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison. The judge can impose a life term without parole, a sentence that has never been used in New Zealand.

Farisha Razak said in a recorded message that Tarrant did not deserve any leniency after killing her father. Ashraf Ali was visiting New Zealand from Fiji.

“You made a game out of people’s lives,” said Razak. “You should not even be granted parole – ever.”

Zuhair Darwish, who lost his brother Kamel, said Tarrant should receive the harshest possible sentence.

“I know in New Zealand law they have removed the death penalty for humans, but unfortunately he’s not a human,” Darwish said.
The second day of a multi-day sentencing hearing was dedicated to allowing survivors and family members of victims to address the court, in person and via video.
Tarrant is representing himself. He will be allowed to speak at some point during the hearings.

Most of Tarrant’s victims were at Al Noor mosque. However, he killed seven people at the Linwood mosque, before moving to a third.

“While I have pity for your mum, I have no emotion for you. You are nothing,” said the daughter of a 65-year-old victim.

“While he will remain trapped in a cage my mum is free. I, therefore, challenge Tarrant to use his remaining lifetime to consider the beauty and life to be found in diversity and freedom that he sought to distort and destroy.”

Indeed, Allah is the most just! The hearings were adjourned until tomorrow morning.

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