The Icelandic news outlet Vísir disabled commenting on an article about last week’s attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand after multiple comments were posted that applauded the acts of terrorism. Stundin reports that the comments were made by Icelanders using their own names. Vísir disabled commenting with the simple note: “Commenting on this article is closed due to hate speech.”
Among the comments on the article were several that commended the person responsible for the atrocities. “Well done,” wrote one commenter. “This is self defense. People haven’t forgotten how many Islam has killed in Europe.” Another commenter who celebrated the attacks was identified as a person who regularly comments on news articles related to Muslims and immigration issues.
Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir and Minister for Foreign Affairs Guðlaugur Þór Thórdarson sent their condolences to New Zealand following the attacks.
“Shocked and heartbroken over the senseless violence in #Christchurch,” wrote Katrín in a Tweet. “Dear @jacindaardern, I send you my deepest sympathies and all the light in the world from the people of Iceland.”
“We are deeply saddened by the horrifying terrorist attack in #Christchurch,” wrote Guðlaugur Þór. “Our thoughts are with the families of the victims and the people of New Zealand.”
At the time of writing, the death toll in the mosque attacks was 49 dead and 42 injured, with a four-year-old child in critical condition.