Hamilton

Hamilton police investigating after white nationalist posts suspected mosque shooter manifesto

Hamilton police are looking into a complaint that a far-right website run by Paul Fromm has posted the manifesto of someone charged in the New Zealand mosque attack.

Muslim association president calls 17,000-word manifesto 'sheer hate'

Paul Fromm, a notorious white nationalist, posted what appears to be the New Zealand mosque shooting suspect's manifesto on his website. (Lorenda Reddekopp, CBC News)

Hamilton police are looking into a complaint that a far-right website run by Paul Fromm has posted the manifesto linked to someone charged in the New Zealand mosque attacks.

Fromm, the notorious white nationalist and former Hamilton mayoral candidate  posted a 17,000-word manifesto believed to have been written by Brenton Tarrant on the website for the Canadian Association for Free Expression. Tarrant is an Australian charged with murder in connection with the mass shooting that killed 50 people and wounded dozens of others at two Christchurch mosques.

Fromm, who lives in Hamilton, said in a post on the site that "hate laws" silence people and make violence "almost inevitable." He also said Tarrant's manifesto, which talked about "white genocide," is "cogent."

Fromm said he hadn't heard from police, but the person who complained is "a bitter opponent of free speech."

Hate crimes unit investigating

The Hamilton Police Service is aware of the website and manifesto, said Const. Jerome Stewart. The hate crimes unit is looking into whether "posting that is a criminal offence."

The service "received a call or two" about it, he said.

News of Fromm's site sharing the manifesto came as hundreds gathered at the Hamilton Mountain Mosque for a vigil to remember the victims of the Christchurch shootings.

Javid Mirza, president of the Muslim Association of Hamilton, described the fact that the manifesto had been shared as "shocking," adding he hopes police can have it taken down.

"This guy has the audacity to put this on his website so some other crackpot can read it and do stupid things?" he asked. "It's complete hate, sheer hate."

An invitation to help 'clean hatred'

Fromm, whose organization has defended websites promoting Holocaust denial, ran for mayor of Hamilton in 2018, insisting his campaign was about gridlock and the misuse of traffic cones. He got 706 votes, coming seventh of out of 15 candidates.

Mirza noted the fact Fromm had run to lead the city and said that must mean he cares for Hamilton too, something the association said he can't understand given "my city cannot tolerate stuff like this."

Still, Mirza extended an invitation to Fromm to help "clean hatred" in Hamilton and to learn to better understand each other.

"I would like for him to come to my mosque someday and sit with me and show me the difference between him and me," he explained.

"I care just as much about my kids as I'm sure he does. I care about my family … and my faith just as much as he does, whatever that may be."