Tragedy has struck the community of Christchurch, as two mosques have been victims of a coordinated mass shooting attack leaving a significant amount of people dead. One of the gunmen live streamed on Facebook Live before beginning the attack and told his viewers “remember lads, subscribe to pewdiepie.” Pewdiepie took to social media immediately to decry the attacks. Please take a look.
Just heard news of the devastating reports from New Zealand Christchurch.
I feel absolutely sickened having my name uttered by this person.
My heart and thoughts go out to the victims, families and everyone affected by this tragedy.
— ƿ૯ωძɿ૯ƿɿ૯ (@pewdiepie) March 15, 2019
Facebook has taken down the video, but Pewdiepie himself confirms hearing his name uttered by one of the gunmen who attacked two mosques during prayers. New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush confirmed multiple fatalities and that they have four people in custody. Three men and one woman have taken the lives of people worshipping peacefully today. Commissioner Bush also confirmed that there were a number of IEDs (improvised explosive devices) on the vehicles that they stopped. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described this mass shooting attack as “an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence” and “one of New Zealand’s darkest days”.
“I saw dead people everywhere. There were three in the hallway, at the door leading into the mosque, and people inside the mosque.” Witness Len Peneha – who rushed into the Masjid Al Noor mosque to help after hearing dozens of shots – told the Associated Press.
Brenton Tarrant, one of the gunman in custody, uttered a very popular pewdiepie meme and he also posted a 74-page manifesto titled “The Great Replacement” on a website detailing his plans to attack “foreign invaders” who caused thousands of deaths in Europe. While pewdiepie has nothing to do with this person or his ideology, memes sometimes become wrapped up in things that they were never intended to convey. This is much like Pepe the Frog cartoon, who was repurposed by white supremacists in 2016. None of the blame for this attack should rest with Pewdiepie, and his immediate response to the attack is exactly the kind of message of peace the world needs at a time like this.
The muslim community of Christchurch has been terrorized today. Islam is a religion of peace, and many people who were practicing their right to worship were murdered in their sanctuary. It is a very sad day for the people of New Zealand, and we send our condolences to the victims of this heinous act of terror.