Brenton Tarrant

Life With No Parole For White Terrorist Tarrant

There has been much talk within the Australian Muslim community and on social media following the recent sentence handed down to mass murderer Brenton Tarrant in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The 29 year old year old Australian originally pleaded not guilty to the murder of 51 Muslims and the attempted murder of 40 others at two mosques in Christchurch on March 15, 2019 – but changed his plea to guilty of all charges on March 26, 2020.

Al Noor Mosque Christchurch, New Zealand.

His admission of guilt meant that the trial scheduled to take place in June, 2020 was cancelled.

He was finally brought before the High Court in Christchurch last week and sentenced to imprisonment for the term of his natural life  – the first time in New Zealand’s history that a guilty party has been sentenced for life, without parole.


Many on social media have been suggesting that Tarrant, a self-confessed white supremacist, should have been sentenced to death.

But like Australia, New Zealand no longer has capital punishment, which was abolished over there in 1989 after much public debate (the last use of the death penalty was in 1957).

Australian white supremacist Brenton Tarrant in court in Christchurch on August 24, 2020. (AFP)

(In Australia, capital punishment was abolished in 1985, while the death penalty hasn’t been used since 1967 when Ronald Ryan was hanged in Melbourne for the shooting murder of a prison guard in a botched escape attempt from Pentridge Prison two years earlier).

Many have queried why New Zealand did not re-introduce capital punishment in the case of Tarrant, such was the heinous nature of his crimes – killing or attempting to kill close to 100 beautiful, innocent, defenceless brothers and sisters as they attended Friday Prayers….and even streaming the shootings at the first masjid on his Facebook page.

The answer to this is simple, and it’s one that makes sense, although we may not necessarily agree with it.

To re-introduce a law to punish a specific criminal AFTER their crime has already been committed is just not part of the democratic process. 

It was the same scenario in Tasmania  in April, 1996, when Martin Bryant murdered 35 innocent tourists and workers at the famous Port Arthur site.

Bryant is concurrently serving 35 life sentences, plus a further 1,035 years (for the attempted murders), all without the possibility of parole.

Tarrant’s heinous crimes saw him surpass Bryant as Australia’s most prolific mass murderer.

The 51 victims of the Christchurch massacre, Allah have mercy on their souls, ameen.


Dr Mohammad Alayan was left fighting for his life following the atrocities at Christchurch’s Al Noor Mosque after Tarrant shot him in the head and chest, and killed his son, Ata.

Dr Alayan has thankfully recovered injuries and along with his wife, Maysoon Salama, tearfully read out their victim impact statements at Tarrant’s sentencing,

He said in part: “Since March 15, 2019, my heart is yearning for restoration of justice to the victims of the heinous massacre, and a call for the death penalty for the brutal and conscienceless criminal,” he said.

“Crimes like this one are so heinous and inherently wrong that they demand the death penalty to deter such crimes in the future, and to keep the society safe.

“The death penalty for the most brutal and conscienceless murderers is a must if justice is to prevail.

“To sentence killers like Tarrant to less than death would fail to do justice, because the penalty would be grossly disproportionate to the heinousness of the crime.”


Dr Alayan said he understood New Zealand’s law did not have capital punishment, so he called on the judge to sentence the criminal to life-long imprisonment without parole, and immediate deportation to Australia.

“Such a criminal should not live for a second in the land of love and compassion, and the loving and caring Kiwis should not pay for his imprisonment.

“For the future, I call upon my Kiwi brothers and sisters to restore the death penalty in New Zealand law, to deter such heinous crimes in the future and to keep society safe.”

Australian leaders including prime minister Scott Morrison and home affairs minister Peter Dutton have said over the past week they would give strong consideration to any request from New Zealand PM Jaciinda Ardern for Tarrant to be deported in order for his life sentence to be served in Australia.

But while Ardern had previous brought up  the matter with Morrison back in February, she told the media that these past few days are all about the victims and their still-grieving families and that she didn’t wish to disrespect them by raising speculation about the  possible future deportation to Australia of Tarrant (whose name she has refused to utter publicly in the year and a half since the shootings).


Muslims throughout the world (along with all other decent and fair-minded people) are understandably still shocked and many enraged by the actions of the mass murderer, almost 18 months on from the shooting spree.

Tarrant’s crimes were an act of terrorism – indeed he was charged as such – and while the sentencing has re-opened some raw wounds and rekindled some of the outrage, let’s not forget – like Jacinda Ardern – that these past few days should be all about the victims and their loved ones….not about anger and hatred.

A common theme from many of the victim statements – and indeed so many on social media – is that a special place in the hell fires awaits the mass murderer.

Ahad Nabi, whose father Haji Daoud Nabi was shot and killed at the Al Noor Mosque, told Tarrant that he did not forgive him.

Ahad Nabi — whose father was killed in Al Noor mosque — called Brenton Tarrant a coward who should never be allowed to walk free at his sentencing hearing in Christchurch on Wednesday. Picture: Getty Images

“When you are in prison, you will come to the awareness that you are in hell and that only the fire awaits you,” he said.

“Your father was a garbageman and you became trash of society.”

“Your father was a garbageman and you became trash of society.”

Ahad also told the killer that he was weak and that his 71 year dad would have “broken you in half if you challenged him to a fight.

“You are a sheep in a wolf’s jacket. I am strong and you have made me even stronger. Allahu Akbar.”

However, the father of 14 year old victim Sayyad Milne told Tarrant that he forgives him.

John Milne called out to Tarrant in the courtroom to get his attention, telling him: “I have forgiven you even though you murdered my 14 year old son Sayyad.

“My own injuries are not physical; not a single bullet hit me and I wasn’t even there but there is a huge hole in my heart which will only heal when I meet Sayyad again in Heaven.

“I hope to see you there too and if you get the chance I would love you to say sorry to Sayyad as I’m sure he’s forgiven you too.”

“I hope to see you there too and if you get the chance I would love you to say sorry to Sayyad as I’m sure he’s forgiven you too.”

John Milne’s philosophy is a timely reminder that providing a sinner truly repents, Allah will always forgive him.

As we read in the Holy Qu’ran:

“O My servants who have transgressed themselves (by committing evil deeds and major sins) despair not of the mercy of Allah. Verily Allah forgives all the sins. Truly he is oft forgiving, most merciful.” Surah Az-Zumar [39:53] – Quran

This surely begs the question, as Allah is all forgiving, what right have we to not forgive?

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