2019 Christchurch Mosque Shootings in New Zealand/ The Great Replacement Conspiracy Theory

NZ Christchurch Mosque Shootings

Brenton Harrison Tarrant, the Australian accused of the 2019 Christchurch mosque shootings in New Zealand, was influenced by the Great Replacement conspiracy theory and named his manifesto after it.


The Great Replacement Theory

“The great replacement is very simple. You have one people, and in the space of a generation you have a different people.”

The great replacement (French: le grand remplacement) is a right-wing conspiracy theory, which states that the white Catholic French population, and white Christian European population at large, is being systematically replaced with non-European people, specifically Arab/Berber Middle Eastern, North African and Sub-Saharan African populations, through mass migration and demographic growth. It associates the presence of Muslims in France with potential danger and destruction of French culture and civilization.

The conspiracy theory commonly apportions blame to a global and liberal elite, such as Brussels and the European Union, which is portrayed as directing a planned and deliberate plot or scheme to carry out the replacement of European peoples.

The theory has been popularized by Renaud Camus. This notion of replacement, or of white genocide, has echoed throughout the rhetoric of many far right movements in the West. Among its main promoters are not only right wing populist parties but also a wide-ranging network of protest movements (e.g., Pegida), ideological groupuscules (e.g., bloc identitaire), bloggers (e.g., Fjordman and Lauren Southern), and pundits (e.g., Eric Zemmour). Prominent right-wing websites such as Gates of Vienna, Politically Incorrect, and Fdesouche have provided a platform for bloggers to diffuse and popularize the conspiracy theory.


The theory of the great replacement can be traced back to the 1973 novel Le Camp des Saints by Jean Raspail which depicts the collapse of Western culture owing to an overwhelming “tidal wave” of Third World immigration. The novel, along with the theory of Eurabia developed by the Swiss-Israeli writer Bat Ye’or in 2005, set the ground then for Renaud Camus to develop and present his book entitled The Great Replacement in 2012. Credited as the “progenitor of the Great Replacement doctrine” by the SPLC, Camus has stated that “the great replacement is very simple. You have one people, and in the space of a generation you have a different people”. Camus has argued that European culture, civilization and identity are in danger of being overrun by mass migration, especially Islamic, and hence physically replaced.


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