The Muslim community is applauding a judge’s decision not to send a radicalized teen who converted to Islam to prison for a violent attack in Christchurch last July. Police said he terrified a large number of people.
NewsHub The radicalized Muslim teenage boy converted to Islam and became radicalized online planned to ram a car into a group of people and stab them in in church in the town of Christchurch. After his arrest, he told police he was angry and had “done it for Allah”. The boy left school at age 15, became socially isolated, and converted to Islam.
Crown prosecutor Chris Lange told the Christchurch District Court at sentencing on Thursday that the boy wrote a note to his mother and has since told a psychologist when it began he “decided not to hurt anybody because he did not have the means to kill enough people,” reports Stuff. “The reason no-one was hurt was that he did not have access to knives,” Mr Lange said.
The Muslim teen harboured thoughts of killing people for five months and expected police would kill him after his rampage had started. The incident had been strongly premeditated and the boy was hostile toward non-Muslims.
The court adopted a rehabilitative approach to the teen’s sentencing with Judge Stephen O’Driscoll releasing him on intensive supervision with a list of conditions and a warning that if he breaches these conditions or reoffends, he will likely be sent to prison.
The boy’s name has been suppressed and the details of the offending cannot be published. He admitted eight charges. Even though the youth had been treated for months by the youth forensic psychiatric team, he was still seen as a high risk of reoffending, and a risk to family members and members of the public, Mr Lange said.
RadioNZ The teenager was sentenced in the Christchurch District Court yesterday to two years’ intensive supervision by a mosque. Federation of Islamic Associations president Hazim Arafeh said that was the right thing to do. “Sending him to prison would deprive him [of] the proper help that he needs.
“He will be receiving some proper Islamic counselling which we believe will help him overcome his radicalization.” (Like this?)
Mr Arafeh said the Muslim community in Christchurch will help monitor the boy, and exactly how he would be de-radicalized was still being worked out.
“This young man has been very misinformed about Islam and our role is to provide the proper information. “He’s been scammed.” (Yes, show him this)
Netsafe New Zealand’s chief executive, Martin Cocker, said he had never heard of a case in New Zealand that involved a person that young becoming radicalized online. “I was surprised I guess because we haven’t seen a lot of that kind of thing here.
“It’s a conversation that’s being had all around the world and even our neighbours across the Tasman see online radicalisation as an issue. Here in new Zealand we just haven’t seen much of it.”