A settler colonial massacre: Kawsar Ali, ‘”Unsettling” the Christchurch Massacre Foregrounding Settler Colonialism in Studies of Islamophobia Post Revisions’, Journal of the Contemporary Study of Islam, 2, 2, 2021, pp. 87-111


Abstract: This article will explore how settler colonialism must be situated in studies of Islamophobia and racial violence through a case study of the Christchurch Massacre. On 15 March 2019 Australian gunman Brenton Tarrant entered two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand and left having brutally killed 51 Muslims. Tarrant utilized the Internet to broadcast white violence and was met with support from white supremacist Internet users. I study the Christchurch Massacre through contexts of settler colonialism, both the settler colony of Aotearoa-New Zealand, as well as the nationality of the gunman, an Australian, to highlight how the Christchurch Massacre is sustained through both white sovereigns. Rather, as investigated through Stuart Hall’s concept of the ideological moment, I purport that by disregarding the settler colonial context of the Christchurch Massacre contributes to an “ideological moment” that fails to address Indigenous sovereignty and its nexus to then targeting non-Indigenous and racialized Muslims. Drawing on theoretical frameworks in settler colonial and whiteness studies and events attended by the author that discussed the Christchurch Massacre, I seek to engage in these disciplines and experiences to encourage consideration of the following: How can we reconcile studying the Christchurch Massacre when Indigenous sovereignty is unreconciled? How can we settle Islamophobia in settler colonies?

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