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While it would be easy and reassuring to call the terror attack on two New Zealand mosques last week “unspeakable” or “beyond comprehension,” there are words for Friday’s tragedy — horrific and murderous are just two — and the savage act was too easily comprehensible. The assault was the act of a lone gunman who called himself an “ethno-nationalist eco-fascist.” That is nonsense that obscures a malignant narcissism, intolerance and lust for violence. Unfortunately, while the alleged killer acted alone, he is not alone in those beliefs. The rest of us must reject this obscenity and all its alleged justifications.

Last Friday, Australian Brenton Harrison Tarrant, allegedly attacked two Christchurch mosques with semi-automatic military-style weapons, shotguns and a lever-action rifle while they were holding mid-afternoon prayers. During the rampages, the worst mass shooting in New Zealand’s history, 50 people were killed and another 40 wounded, 12 of them critically.

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