Controversial right-wing commentator Candace Owens has been slammed for using a laughing emoji in a tweet about the New Zealand mosque massacre after being named in the terrorist’s manifesto.
The gunman, who identified himself as Brenton Tarrant from Grafton, New South Wales, Australia, named the conservative activist as his biggest influence in his 74-page manifesto.
In the sick document, Tarrant said that Owens helped ‘push me further and further into the belief of violence over meekness’ – but claimed some of the ‘extreme actions’ she calls for are ‘too much, even for my tastes’.
Shortly after posting it on Twitter, Tarrant, 28, livestreamed the mass shooting inside the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch at around 1.30pm. The terror attack left 49 people dead and another 48 injured.
Conservative commentator Candace Owens, pictured, has been slammed for using a laughing emoji on a tweet about the New Zealand mosque massacre after being named in the terrorist’s manifesto
Owens tweeted ‘LOL!’ followed by the emoji in response to a Twitter user whose comment has since been deleted.
But she was eviscerated by other users for using a laughing emoji and repeatedly saying ‘laugh out loud’ as she denied inspiring the terrorist’s murderous Islamophobia
‘I’ve never created any content espousing my views on the 2nd Amendment or Islam.
‘The Left pretending I inspired a mosque massacre in…New Zealand because I believe black America can do it without government hand outs is the reachiest reach of all reaches!! LOL!’ she said.
She continued to tweet over the next several hours that she refused to be blamed for the massacre.
When followers pointed out the impropriety of her response, she was indignant.
‘Laughter is not the response one would expect after these murders,’ one follower said.
Owens shot back: ‘No. But a bunch of racist white liberals flooding my mentions is almost exactly what one would expect. You guys will never de-platform me.’
Gunman Brenton Tarrant from Grafton, New South Wales, Australia, described her as his biggest influence, and said she helped ‘push me further and further into the belief of violence over meekness’
But Tarrant claimed some of the ‘extreme actions’ she calls for are ‘too much, even for my tastes’. The terror attack, which was the deadliest in New Zealand’s history, killed 49 people and left another 48 injured
Twitter users described Owens as ‘callous’ and said the tweet was a ‘new low’ for her
John Iadarola wrote: ‘Maybe a little less laughing considering the death toll?’
Aaron Rupar added: ‘This is a disgustingly callous response.’
Another user tweeted: ‘Yes. A violent massacre is so funny. Hysterical.’
Others pointed out that she had in fact shared her views on the second amendment and Islam in the past, sharing screenshots of recent tweets.
One of her previous tweets was directed towards Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, in which she claimed ‘Europe will fall and become a Muslim majority continent by 2050’.
Another, aimed at French president Emmanuel Macron, again warned against the declining birth rate.
When questioned what she was laughing about in the tweet, Owens replied: ‘White liberals attempting to beat black conservatives into submission with absurdity… again.’
Others posted screenshots of tweets in which she has shared her views on Islam, including two about Europe becoming a ‘Muslim-majority continent by 2050’
Tarrant launched the attack at Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch on the country’s South Island at about 1.30pm as Friday prayers were underway.
At about the same time, there was a second shooting at a mosque in Linwood, which is within 10km of the first attack.
Early reports indicated a shooting at Christchurch Hospital. However, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the mosques were the lone targets.
She did confirm multiple bombs were attached to two cars belonging to the suspects near the mosque. The explosives were disarmed before they could detonate.
Of the 49 fatalities, 41 were killed at the Al Noor Mosque and seven at the Linwood Avenue mosque. Three were outside the mosque itself. A 49th died in hospital.