An ex-neo Nazi from the US has warned Australians about the danger of white supremacy in the wake of the Christchurch massacre that left 51 dead.
Former Wisconsin skinhead Arno Arr Michaelis, 48, believes that the Australian and American governments are not doing enough to fight neo-Nazism and hate crime.
‘The States is just as far behind as Australia if not more so. Mainly our Government doesn’t see white nationalism as a threat,’ he told ABC News.
‘Even if they were able to admit that it was a threat, I don’t know that they’re going to be able to put a lot of resources behind it.’
Mr Michaelis started a neo-Nazi gang in the late 1980s and supported Hammerskin Nation, a white supremacist group that has chapters in Australia and New Zealand.
He left the gang after seven years to focus on raising his daughter Mija after a friend was shot dead in a street fight in 1994.
‘It finally hit me that if I didn’t change my ways, death or prison would take me from my daughter… The violent extremist person needs to get to the point where they think, “this is f***ed up, I can’t do this anymore”,’ he said.
Mr Michaelis now works with Serve to Unite to de-radicalise far-right extremists.
He founded the group with Pardeep Singh Kaleka who lost his father in a Sikh Temple shooting that killed six people in Wisconsin in 2012.
The shooter Wade Michael Page was from the same gang that Mr Michaelis founded in the 1980s.
The shooting brought Mr Kaleka and Mr Michaelis together before they made the group to divert young people from extremism and gun violence.
Mr Michaelis called the alleged Christchurch shooter a ‘miserable, suffering cowardly fool’ and a ‘pathetic excuse for a human’ in the aftermath of the March shooting.
He said the alleged gunman let ‘the so-called “Islamic State” speak for all of Islam, rather than being inspired by brilliant Muslims’.
Grafton man Brenton Tarrant, 28, is expected to enter pleas to 51 charges of murder, 40 of attempted murder and a single, unprecedented, terrorism charge for his alleged role in the attack.
The mass shooting at the Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre claimed 51 victims during Friday Prayer on March 15.