Christchurch Massacre Symbolism Provokes Toxic Balkan Disputes

Ideas from far-right message boards

People hold placards to condemn the shooting at a Mosque in Christchurch. Photo: EPA-EFE/RAHAT DAR

The perpetrator carefully curated the soundtrack that accompanied his drive to the massacre; it included a song performed by Waffen SS Choir, popular among fascists, the Initial D anime series track 'Gas Gas Gas' and an obscure video that goes by the name 'Serbia Strong' (also known as 'Remove kebab') that was produced in the mid-1990s and first uploaded to YouTube on August 3, 2008.

The last caused much discussion on social media, where users speculated as to whether the perpetrator may have been of Serbian descent. Photographs of the weapons he used quickly followed.

They bore white scribbled references to people and events that the perpetrator clearly either admitted or wanted to somehow involve in his act.

They referenced events such as the Siege of Malta in 1565, the 1683 Battle of Vienna, the 1805 Battle of Ivankovac, 2018 Global Compact for Migration as well as personalities such as Stephen the Great (1457-1504), voivode of Moldova, Sebastiano Venier, a Venetian admiral with a notable role during the 1571 Battle of Lepanto, Skanderbeg, an Albanian military commander and national hero, Milos Obilic, Lazar Hrebeljanovic, Novak Vujosevic and Bajo Pivljanin - all of whom fought against the Ottoman Empire.

There were also derogatory Greek references to Turks during the Greek Wars of Independence.

It was a mixed bunch, but a common thread was clear and would be explained in his 'manifesto'.

Besides the historical references, there were references to other figures too; US conservative commentator and alt-right figure Candace Owens was referenced throughout the manifesto...

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