Conservative activist Candace Owens had her name cited by at least one of the alleged gunmen who launched deadly shooting attacks on two mosques in New Zealand on Friday, according to multiple reports circulating on social media.
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An official death toll had not been released as of early Friday morning U.S. time, but four people were taken into custody for the attacks in the town of Christchurch. One of the alleged suspects left behind what the Associated Press called “a 74-page anti-immigrant manifesto in which he explained who he was and his reasoning for his actions. He said he considered it a terrorist attack.”
In was in that reported manifesto that Owens, 29, was cited as “the person that has influenced me above all,” according to an apparent partial transcript posted to Twitter by journalist Ian Miles Cheong.
Owens responded to the reports by threatening legal action against the media if it “attempts this ‘Candace inspired a mosque shooting in New Zealand’ bit.”
She tweeted “HAHA” and LOL!” in part of her earlier responses to those same reports, prompting some folks on Twitter to wonder if Owens was laughing at a terror attack that reportedly killed 40 people.
Owens’ views on Muslims have been documented in her own tweets, both directly and indirectly.
She has called President Donald Trump “the savior” of the free world. Trump, of course, has fought for the U.S. to ban Muslims.
Beyond that, Owens has also used Twitter to quote Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in the negative context of Muslim immigration.
Most recently, Owens had some glowing remarks about Adolf Hitler last month. Hitler, of course, wanted to exterminate people of Jewish faith much like Islamophobes want to do to Muslims.
““When we say nationalism, the first thing people think about, at least in America, is Hitler. He was a national socialist. If Hitler just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well, okay, fine,” Owens told the group of young attendees.
Those fateful words reportedly resulted in a number of members of her organization, Turning Point USA, wanting her fired.
It was also at Turning Point USA’s conference in January that the group’s student members — the same student members who reportedly wanted Owens fired — “were told they needed to ‘expose Islam’ for the ‘ugly thing’ it is,” according to Business Insider. Owens is Turning Point USA’s director of communications.
However, Owens has also written her friendship with a Muslim woman who was her roommate and documented for the Stamford Advocate in 2016 how she was able to overcome the implicit bias she had against Islam when they first met.
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