Sanders speaks at US mosque in the wake of deadly terrorist attack in New Zealand

Sat Mar 23, 2019
US Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at the Islamic Center of Southern California in Los Angeles on March 23, 2019.
US Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at the Islamic Center of Southern California in Los Angeles on March 23, 2019.

US Senator Bernie Sanders attends a mosque in the state of California in the wake of deadly attacks against two mosques in New Zealand by a white supremacist shooter.

“In this difficult moment, not only in American history where we see a rise in hate crimes, and not only in a world where we see a growing tendency toward authoritarianism, where demagogues are picking on minority communities all over this world, now is the time … for us to stand up to hatred of all kinds,” Sanders said during the event Saturday.

The 2020 presidential candidate visited the Islamic Center of Southern California, where religious leaders and people from other faiths had gathered to commemorate the 50 lives lost in the mass shooting earlier this month in Christchurch, New Zealand.

“To show the world that this nation in fact will be a leader in bringing our people together regardless of their religion, and to create an economy that works for all of us, an environment that works for all of us, and a world in which love will conquer hate,” said the Vermont senator.

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Bernie Sanders

@BernieSanders

In this difficult moment, where we see a rise in hate crimes and a growing tendency toward authoritarianism, now is the time for everybody to come together and to show the world that love will conquer hate.

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Fifty people died and dozens were injured in twin shootings on two mosques in Christchurch on March 15.

Described as a terrorist attack by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, it was the worst ever peacetime mass killing in the country.

The majority of victims were migrants or refugees from countries such as Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Somalia and Afghanistan. Muslims account for just over one percent of New Zealand’s population.

The attack revived calls for an end to Islamophobia in the administration of US President Donald Trump.

Trump has been urged to assure Muslims that they are protected and that he will not tolerate violence against their community.

The US president’s condemnation of the massacre was mild and did not involve the word “Muslims.”

Ever since he appeared in office, the New York billionaire has been running and anti-Muslim agenda, including the so-called Muslim ban.

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Israel Shamir: “Christchurch Revisited”

South Front

21.03.2019

Written by Israel Shamir; Originally appeared at The Unz Review

You don’t have to be a white nationalist to commit a mass murder in a house of worship like the one in Christchurch, though if you only read mainstream media you’ll probably associate them with the unique depravity of doing so. Without the slightest intention to wax apologetic for the crime and rejecting conspiracy theories, I want to contextualise the event and preclude political profit-taking and guilt-assigning by the liberals.

Israel Shamir: "Christchurch Revisited"

White nationalists are not exceptional. A Muslim can do it just as “well.” In Egypt, Muslims massacred in April 2017 45 Christians in two Coptic churches. There is a long list of attacks on churches in Egypt, Syria, and Iraq by Islamic extremists. They kill not-sufficiently devout Muslims, too: over 300 Muslim worshippers were slaughtered by Muslim extremists in a Sinai mosque in November 2017. The ISIS atrocities are on a different (worse) level altogether, though they go underreported in the media that prefers to demonise president Assad and his Iranian and Russian allies.

(Many Muslim attacks on Christians go underreported, for media follow the policy of keeping local native nationalists under pressure, and full reporting would undermine this goal. In September last year, a man poured out petrol and tried to ignite a fire on a subway train in Stockholm. He was stopped by fellow passengers, arrested, sentenced to four years in jail. It was hardly reported at all, and the only report does not give his name, for a good reason: it is a Muslim name. However, so-called hate crimes get a lot of coverage.)

A Jew can do it even better. A Brooklyn Jew, Dr Benjamin (it’s all about the Benjamins, baby!) Goldstein single-handedly massacred about fifty worshippers in the Ibrahimiye Mosque of Halil/Hebron in Palestine on the eve of Purim 1994. He also wounded about 150 Muslim worshippers – though it is said that Israeli soldiers present at the spot gave him an assisting hand. Perhaps they thought it was free-for-all.

Image result for Baruch) Goldstein

Benjamin (or Baruch) Goldstein is considered a hero and a sainted martyr within his community, the fiercely chauvinist Jews of Hebron. They go to his grave and ask for his intercession before the Almighty. Young girls ask him to find them a suitor. Candles are constantly lit in his memory. A book was published in his honour, and his name is frequently mentioned among the settlers. They claim (without any evidence or factual base) that this massacre saved the Jews from being massacred by Muslims.

While white nationalist videos have been de-platformed, YouTube has no problem with this video exculpating and glorifying the Jewish mass murderer. Prime Minister Netanyahu (another Benjamin, baby!) decided to bring the party of Goldstein fans, Otzma Yehudit, into his government coalition, and it did not interfere with his triumphal progress to the AIPAC conference to be held on March 24, right after Purim.

Goldstein had his predecessors. On 26 July 1983, a Jewish terrorist group attacked an Islamic college with hand grenades and submachine guns; three students were killed and thirty wounded. The attackers were eventually apprehended, sentenced and quickly pardoned by the president of Israel after a big public campaign: over 70% of Israeli Jews demanded their release.

As Purim approaches, activity around Goldstein’s grave comes to a peak. A mystic could think that the NZ shooter had been moved to action by the Purim awakening of the Goldstein spirit. At the same time, the name of the Jewish killer is hardly ever mentioned in the Western media, and the Jewish American officials, while expressing their (justified) horror and indignation regarding the Christchurch murders, never refer to their coreligionist who preceded and inspired Tarrant. Some of them even said that nothing similar to the mosque shooting ever happened.

So, white nationalists are not exceptional. An unusual feature of Tarrant’s crime was that it was a hate-less hate crime; essentially a gamer’s crime. Apparently there is a game-acquired appeal in raining bullets upon “vermin”. If you played videogames you would know what I mean. A sort of FPS (First-Person Shooter Games) with your preferred enemy instead of a zombie. And now, make the next step – consider real people being zombies. You do not need hate for that; and Tarrant did not hate his victims, judging by his writing. He even wrote about the great friends he made in Turkey.

The border between videogame and reality became blurred by way of modern warfare. The video Collateral Murder, the first breakthrough achievement of Assange and Wikileaks, gives us the FPS of an American pilot killing innocent and unarmed people on the streets of Baghdad. Israeli girl-soldiers operate a remote-control killing system on the Gaza fence. It is called the Spot and Shoot system. They do what Tarrant did as their daily job. The same is done by drone operators sitting in faraway places and killing children. (To make it easier, they call their victims “fun-size terrorists”.)

Video games that train you to kill without feeling hatred are a substitute for this sort of killing. I’ve been to wars, and I’ve seen and experienced the real thing. Hatred is not necessary to kill your enemy. If you know who is your enemy, you can kill without feeling hatred, and that is what most soldiers do, most of the time.

It’s not something to be horrified about. We have to recognise aggression as a necessary element of our mentality. It is not “good” or “bad”, this is what we are, in the favourite expression of Mme Pelosi. We have an inbuilt drive for hunt and warfare, that’s why a little boy goes “bang bang” before he is able to talk. This is the way we are hard-wired. People like to shoot people; if they aren’t allowed to in real life, they do it in games. But they dream of doing it for real, to fight, to kill and perhaps, to die. This drive, like other destructive drives, is normally canalised, or sublimated. A boy’s hunting instinct and his drive for war have been transformed into heroic actions, into defence of one’s home and country, or into performing Herculean feats. Without it, we would be still sharing bananas in the African jungle.

However, we live in a feminised society where feats are against the law. A boy is supposed to behave like a girl; a girl, like a boy. Not only clothes and toilets are unisex, so is the indoctrination. The propaganda of gender-fluidity aims at killing masculinity at its root. A young working-class man has very few prospects in life. He can get a low-paid temporary job with no security, at best. And he can pour out his indignation and desperation in a video games saloon or in a fighting club. Or just use more drugs and alcohol.

Games, and shooter games in particular, are very popular, because they cater for basic needs – as pornography does. They are so popular that the Swedish gamer who was mentioned by Tarrant has ninety million followers: it is many times more than any article-writing journalist can ever reach. So there are many frustrated and dissatisfied men. Will the games provide a sufficient outlet for the pent-up tension? Perhaps; porno certainly influenced sexual relations by making so many men less interested in the real thing.

It is not in the best interests of mankind. For mankind, it is better for men to be interested in women and perform feats of courage for the best of the community to win their love. For the people who consider themselves our masters, there are other priorities. They want to have calm herds of many cows and oxen; bulls are trouble. This comparison is somewhat misleading: humans are not herbivores, and we are more rebellious, clever and strong-minded.

In order to quell the rebellious spirit, our would-be masters invent traps and fake vents. Greta Thunberg and her demonstrations against global warming provide such a faux outlet for the rebellion. The Yellow Vests of France are fomenting a real rebellion, and that is why they are being demonised by the mass media. Our society should be reorganised to allow young men to perform real feats. They want to save the world, and the only things they are being offered is to flip hamburgers or play video games.

This desire to save the world is evident in Tarrant’s Manifesto. He describes the world in which he and other working-class young men are displaced, and though his proposed solution (terror) is wrong, the problem is real. He sees the people he is being replaced with, the immigrants, and he seeks to deal with them.

The replacement is real, but the culprits are not the immigrants he is being replaced with. It’s people who organise the replacement, who bomb Muslim lands to create living hell in the once-prosperous Middle East and North Africa, who bring the refugees to Europe (and its extension in Australia-NZ), who indoctrinate against ‘xenophobia’ instead of denouncing greed.

Actually, Tarrant is aware of it. He wrote in his Manifesto:

The major impetus for the mass importation of non-Europeans into Europe is the call and want for cheap labour. Nothing drives the invasion more and nothing needs to be defeated more than the greed that demands cheap labour… In the end human greed and the need for increasing profit margins of capital owners needs to be fought against and broken.

He is definitely right on that, spot on. Greed of capital should be destroyed in order to save mankind, but killing Muslims is not the right way for it.

Tarrant’s concern about the low birthrate of Europeans is understandable, but for one reason only: he takes for granted this demand for cheap labour and more sales have to be satisfied. However, it does not have to be satisfied at all. If greed is controlled and defeated, and immigration blocked, the population can gently decline until a new sustainable level is found. For a while, the population will grow older, true; but this is a temporary effect. We are not doomed to ever-increasing population, ever-increasing profits and sales, ever-rising shares, endless expansion. It can be changed.

And we should, because if we don’t, our ‘masters’ will organise a giant bloodletting, a new great war to turn millions of deprived young men into Tarrants in their service, as they did in 1914 and 1939. Mankind will defeat greed and work for its better future, or will it turn upon itself. This is the main lesson of the Christchurch massacre.

Israel Shamir can be reached at adam@israelshamir.net

New Zealand Burials Start as PM Urges ‘United Front’ on Social Media

March 20, 2019

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

A Syrian refugee and his son were buried in New Zealand on Wednesday in the first funerals of those martyred in the twin mosque massacre as Kiwis braced for days of emotional farewells following the mass slayings.

An Australian white supremacist had gunned down 50 Muslim worshippers and wounded many more at two mosques in the southern city of Christchurch last Friday in a killing spree that he live-streamed.

Gunman Brenton Tarrant’s use of social media has put the spotlight on extremists’ use of such platforms, and New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called on Wednesday for a global “united front” on the issue.

Hundreds of mourners gathered in the morning at a cemetery near Linwood Mosque, one of two places of worship targeted, to lay Khalid Mustafa and his son Hamza to rest.

The family arrived last year as refugees from the Syrian maelstrom only to find tragedy in a land where they had sought sanctuary.

A total of six burials were expected on Wednesday.

Ardern, who has vowed to toughen New Zealand’s lax gun-ownership laws following the killings, also said Wednesday the world needs to confront the dangers posed by social media.

“There is an argument there to be made for us to take a united front on what is a global issue,” she said at a press conference in Christchurch.

“This is not just an issue for New Zealand, the fact that social media platforms have been used to spread violence (and) material that incites violence.”

She had called on New Zealanders on Tuesday to deprive Tarrant of the publicity he craved by never uttering his name.

“He is a terrorist. He is a criminal. He is an extremist. But he will, when I speak, be nameless,” she said.

The 28-year-old was arrested after the shootings and is expected to spend his life in prison as New Zealand has no death penalty.

Dozens of relatives of the deceased have begun arriving from around the world, some hoping to take bodies back with them.

SourceAFP

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Trump Supporters in Denial over New Zealand Massacre

Trump Supporters in Denial over New Zealand Massacre

FINIAN CUNNINGHAM | 17.03.2019 | WORLD / AMERICAS

Trump Supporters in Denial over New Zealand Massacre

US President Donald Trump condemned the New Zealand massacre of 50 people by a self-declared white fascist as “horrible”. In an ambiguous choice of words, Trump said he sent his “warmest [sic] sympathies” to the victims of the mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch. He also seemed to downplay white supremacy violence as a problem.

With several surviving victims still in a critical condition, the death toll could rise in coming days.

Of course, Trump would be obliged to join in the international outpouring of condemnation over the barbaric cold-blooded act of mass murder. How could he not, given the shocking horror and depravity of the crime?

But his repeated nationalistic and nativist rhetoric as well as the ideologues whom he associates with make it very hard for Trump and his supporters to deny that there is a link between the White House occupant and the terrorist attack on Muslims in New Zealand, or white supremacist violence generally.

Supporters of Trump have scoffed at media claims made against Trump following the massacre insinuating the president is associated with “white nationalism” and thereby linked to the violence.

Admittedly, anti-Trump media in the US, such as CNN and MSNBC, will always seek every opportunity to undermine Trump. Nevertheless, on the point of Trump’s dalliance with extremist rightwing groups and their ideological memes there is a valid criticism to be made.

The alleged shooter in the New Zealand attack Friday was named as Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian citizen. He openly declared himself to be a fascist, avowing white supremacist ideology. In a so-called manifesto, the suspect refers to Trump as a “symbol of renewed white identity”.

More significantly, the themes the alleged murderer espouses are central to the Alt Right movement and numerous other white nationalist groups in the US and Europe, issues which Trump has also promoted for political gain.

The themes of Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, white genocide by “invasion” or “replacement” by brown-skinned foreigners are run-of-the-mill talking points for far-right nationalist movements, which Trump has at times endorsed or given credence to.

Only days before the New Zealand massacre, Trump gave an exclusive interview with Breitbart News. The publication is a proponent of many of the themes surrounding fears of the “white race” being over-run by hordes of foreigners, and especially Muslim foreigners.

In his latest interview for Breitbart, Trump appeared to be inciting street violence by imploring his followers in the police and military to “get tough”. He tweeted a link to the publication. But following the horror in Christchurch, Trump deleted his tweet. That move suggests the president is fully aware of the toxic association with Breitbart at such a politically sensitive moment.

Trump and his supporters may try to play the innocent card, decrying what they would call are scurrilous attempt by the “liberal media” to bracket him with the violence of the far-right.

However, what else is one to conclude about Trump when he has personally amplified the touchstone causes of numerous fascist, white nationalist groups?

This week, Trump has pushed on with his border wall project. He has repeatedly sought to justify that project in sensationalist, scaremongering terms of preventing an “invasion” into the US from Mexico. The actual figures of migration over the southern border do not merit such high priority given by Trump to the “problem”. The proposed expenditure of $8-9 billion and declared state of emergency are “dog-whistling” techniques by Trump to mobilize far-right nationalist support.

Look at the people who associate with Trump. He may claim that their association is not reciprocated.

White neo-Nazi groups like Proud Boys and Alt Right have been hosted at Trump rallies. Alt Right leader Richard Spencer is partial to giving Nazi salutes at conferences and declaring “Hail Trump!”

David Duke, the grandmaster of the Klu Klux Klan, has publicly endorsed Trump.

Steve Bannon, Trump’s former political strategist in the White House, is a big proponent of the “replacement theory” whereby it is claimed that Muslim, African and other immigrants are “invading” the US and Europe to obliterate traditional white Christian communities. This was a prime motive for the alleged shooter in the New Zealand massacre. It was also a motive for the mass murder in 2011 by Norwegian neo-Nazi Anders Breivik.

Trump has taken up the cause of white South African farmers who claim that they are being expelled from colonial lands by the ruling ANC black government. This theme has also been taken up in Zimbabwe, and is a major touchstone issue for white supremacist, fascist groups around the world. For Trump to dally with the issue is an unmistakable sign of his witting – albeit tacit – support to such ideology, even though he may publicly try to distance himself at times, such as in the aftermath of the Christchurch atrocity.

Typically with Trump there are abundant contradictions. His son-in-law and special advisor Jared Kushner is Jewish. Yet Trump was accused of giving support to a “Unite the Right Rally” in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, where the torch-bearing marchers chanted slogans about not being replaced by Jews.

There seems little room for denial by Trump or his supporters about his links to the rise of extreme rightwing, white nationalist, fascist groups. His blanket ban on asylum-seekers from Muslim countries, his unhinged rhetoric about “invasion” by foreigners, and Trump’s association with racist, fascistic ideologues all put this president in the dock for incitement. The reckless rhetoric of Trump’s demagoguery is manifest in depraved actions such as the mass murder of 49 Muslims in New Zealand.

Trump can’t wash his hands after cynically dabbling in the cesspool of fascist ideology.

The Christchurch Shooting and the Normalization of Anti-Muslim Terrorism

The Christchurch Shooting and the Normalization of Anti-Muslim Terrorism

EDITOR’S CHOICE | 16.03.2019

The Christchurch Shooting and the Normalization of Anti-Muslim Terrorism

The real forces responsible for the destruction of many Muslim-majority countries and the current chaos present in many Western countries are not generated by civilian populations or religions but instead by the global oligarchy that engineers and profits from this chaos.

Whitney WEBB

What is without question the worst mass shooting in New Zealand’s history took place on Friday when shooters, 28-year-old Australian Brenton Tarrant among them, opened fire at two Christchurch mosques. Four, including Tarrant, have been arrested for the heinous act, which claimed at least 49 innocent lives. Tarrant was responsible for killing more than 40 victims, among them several children, in a rampage he live-streamed on Facebook, sending chills throughout the Muslim community, particularly Muslims living in Western countries.

Tarrant’s motives and ideology, laid bare in a 74-page manifesto, show a concern over the fertility rates of non-white groups as well as the immigration of non-whites to countries like New Zealand and Australia, which he likened to an “invasion” that threatened the white majority in those countries. However, Tarrant — in his ignorance — failed to grasp that many of the Muslim immigrants he targeted had come to New Zealand after fleeing Western-backed invasions, occupations, or persecution in their home countries.

Notable among Tarrant’s views is the fact that he is a clear ethno-nationalist, promoting his view that different ethnic groups must be kept “separate, unique, undiluted in [sic] unrestrained in cultural or ethnic expression and autonomy.” Tarrant also claimed that he doesn’t necessarily hate Muslims and only targeted those Muslims {i.e., immigrants) that chose “to invade our lands, live on our soil and replace our people.”

He also stated that he chose to target Muslims because “Islamic nations, in particular, have high birth rates, regardless of race or ethnicity” and to satiate “a want for revenge against Islam for the 1,300 years of war and devastation that it has brought upon the people of the West and other peoples of the world.” His views are remarkably similar to those of Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik, which is unsurprising given that Tarrant named him as an inspiration for the shooting.

Though many — in the hours after the shooting — have sought to place blame and point fingers at notable demagogues like President Donald Trump or “counter-jihad” alt-right figures like Laura Loomer and Jacob Wohl, it is important to place Tarrant’s motivations in context.

Indeed, while Trump’s rise to political power has brought Islamophobic rhetoric into the public sphere in an undeniable way, it is a symptom of a much broader effort aimed at propagandizing the people of the United States and other Western countries to support wars in and military occupations of Muslim-majority countries. This manufactured Islamophobia, largely a product of Western governments and a compliant mass media, has sought to vilify all Muslims by maligning the religion itself as terrorism, in order to justify the plunder of their countries and deflect attention from their suffering.

It is a classic “divide and conquer” scam aimed at keeping Westerners divided from Muslims in their own countries and abroad. The horrific shooting in Christchurch is a testament to its unfortunate success and pervasiveness, as well as a potent reminder that it must be stopped. Indeed, this manufactured Islamophobia has made it so that Muslims in their home countries are in danger of dying from Western-backed wars and, if they flee to the “safer” West, they have targets on their backs painted by the very war propaganda used to justify Western military adventurism in Muslim-majority nations.

Islam, the media and “Forever Wars”: Who’s the “real” terrorist?

Since September 11th and the advent of the “War on Terror,” mass media reporting increasingly began to conflate Muslims and Muslim-majority nations with war, terrorism and violence in general. Indeed, 9 out of 10 mainstream news reports on Muslims, Islam, and Islamic organizations are related to violence and Muslims who are named on mainstream media are all-too-frequently warlords or terrorist leaders.

This near-constant association of Islam and violence has created the false perception that the religion of Islam, by its very nature, is violent and that Muslims too must then be violent and thus dangerous. This media-driven association has had very real and troubling consequences. For instance, a 2010 study by the University of Exeter found “empirical evidence to demonstrate that assailants of Muslims are invariably motivated by a negative view of Muslims they have acquired from either mainstream or extremist nationalist reports or commentaries in the media.” In other words, Islamophobic media reports are directly related to hate crimes targeting Muslims.

This is no accident, as such biased reporting on Muslim-majority nations also began as Western-backed wars in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan sought to put these countries’ natural resources, namely their oil and mineral wealth, into the hands of American corporations. It should be no surprise then that top funders of media outlets that have routinely promoted Islamophobic narratives are also those who have profited considerably from the “War on Terror” and Western-backed regime-change wars in other countries.

This concerted effort to vilify Muslims has had the potent effect, likely by design, of reducing empathy among Westerners for the largely Muslim victims of Western military adventurism in Muslim-majority countries. Indeed, while mainstream news outlets often trumpet the imminent dangers Americans face from “radical Islamic terror,” the death toll of innocent people — most of them Muslim — that have been killed by the U.S.-led “War on Terror” is several orders of magnitude greater than the number of Americans who have died from all terror attacks over that same period.

For instance, from 2001 to 2013, an estimated 3,380 Americans died from domestic and foreign terrorism, including the September 11 attacks as well as acts of domestic terrorism carried out by white nationalists and supremacists. If one excludes the September 11 death toll, the number of American deaths over that same period stands at around 400, most of them victims of mass-killers who were not Muslim.

By comparison, an estimated 8 million innocent people in Muslim-majority nations died as a result of U.S. policies and wars in the Middle East and North Africa from 2001 to 2015. Yet, the magnitude of this loss of life of these “unworthy victims” is minimized by media and government silence, and the creation of a climate of Islamophobia in the West has only served to deepen the ease with which mass murder is accepted by the aggressor countries’ populations.

Beyond the staggering disparity in the death tolls caused by terror groups and Western-backed imperialist wars is the fact that many of these very Western governments that purport to be so concerned with “radical Islamic terror” have often created and funded the most notorious terror groups of all. Indeed, the U.S. government helped to create Al Qaeda and continues to protectits Syrian branch — Hayat Tahrir al-Sham — in Syria’s Idlib province to this day. In addition, the CIA was just recently revealed to be helping the Islamic State regroup in Syrian refugee camps. Furthermore, the U.S. has long turned a blind eye to the funding of terror groups by allied states like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The role of Western money, arms and policy in the creation and maintenance of radical Wahhabi terrorist groups is often entirely ignored by Western media portrayals of Muslim-majority nations, thereby creating a false image that such violence is endemic to these nations when, in fact, it is often imported state-sponsored terror.

These nuances of the situation are rarely heard in the narratives parroted out on mainstream media and those who regularly consume mainstream news sources are more likely than not to support those narratives. For that reason, it is easy to see how someone like Donald Trump — who is said to watch television for eight hours every day, much of it Fox News — has espoused the views that he has. Thanks to the manufacturing of Islamophobia of mainstream media, racist policies like the so-called “Muslim ban” have found wide support, as this false narrative has conflated Islam with violence so often that many have come to believe that only by banning Islam can violence and terrorism in the U.S. be reduced.

However, the recent shooting in Christchurch, as well as the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting and other recent acts of domestic terrorism, should alert us to the fact that it is the hate manufactured by this false narrative that is itself endangering American lives while also covering up the mass murder that has been perpetrated by the U.S. and other governments around the world for decades.

Israel’s leading role in stoking ethnonationalism

While the realities of post-9/11 America, as well as the rise in visibility of white ethnonationalism during the Trump Era, have done much to normalize attacks on immigrants, the country that has done the most to normalize anti-Muslim terrorism over this same time frame has been the state of Israel.

Israel, from its founding days, has long been steeped in neocolonialist ideology that is remarkably similar to the ideological basis behind other settler states like the United States, Australia and New Zealand. This system of beliefs holds that the native inhabitants of the land — whether the Palestinians, the Sioux or the Maori — are “primitive” and incompetent and that the land would have remained “wild” and undeveloped were it not for the “fortunate” appearance of European settlers. As MintPressnoted in a previous report on the subject, such narratives cast these settlers as both superior and normal while the natives become inferior and abnormal, thus obfuscating the settler’s status as foreigner and conqueror.

In Israel’s case, this ideology has promoted the idea that all Arabs are “sons of the desert” while the desert simultaneously represents a barbaric obstacle to “progress” and development. However, the state of Israel, under the lengthy tenure of current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has seen these long-standing and somewhat hidden underpinnings of the Zionist state burst out into the open.

The result has been the overt expression of ethnonationalism in such a way that Israel has become an inspiration to white nationalists in the United States, like Richard Spencer, and far-right ethno-fascist leaders like Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro and India’s Narendra Modi. The inspiration has been mutual, according to reports and testimonials published by Jewish newspaper The Forward.

For years, through its military occupation of Palestine, Israel’s government and military have sought to paint all Palestinians, including children, as “terrorists” or “terrorist sympathizers.” Take, for example, current Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who wrote in 2014, “This is a war between two people. Who is the enemy? The Palestinian people …”

A more recent example came from former Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who asserted just last year that “no innocent people” live in the Gaza Strip and that every inhabitant in the enclave is somehow connected to Hamas, even though nearly half of Gaza’s population are children and teenagers. Such rhetoric has become par for the course and numerous examples show that Shaked and Lieberman’s views are increasingly accepted and “normal” in today’s Israel.

Yet, the clearest indication of anti-Muslim terror’s normalization in Israel is the recent rise of Otzma Yehudit, or the “Jewish Power” Party. This party, founded by devotees of radical American-born Rabbi Meir Kahane, has now merged — at Netanyahu’s urging — with the Jewish Home Party and stands to become part of Israel’s ruling coalition if Netanyahu manages to win in the country’s upcoming elections.

In the office of Itamar Ben Gvir, one of Otzma Yehudit’s leaders, is a framed picture of Baruch Goldstein. In an act that bears a striking similarity to the events in Christchurch, Goldstein — a long-time devotee of Kahane — entered a mosque in the West Bank city of Hebron in 1994 and opened fire, killing 29 and injuring more than 125 worshippers. After the act, Kahane’s Kach party — the predecessor of Otzma Yehudit — was labeled a terrorist organization by the United States and Israel.

Despite official condemnation, Goldstein’s atrocious act has been the subject of praise and inspiration for subsequent extremists who, under Netanyahu’s government, have become increasingly normalized. Goldstein’s gravestone reads “He gave his life for the people of Israel, its Torah and land” and continues to be used as a site of pilgrimage and homage by the very extremists that Netanyahu is openly courting for political gain.

While the followers of Kahane are making a comeback in Israel, several notable Arab political parties have been banned from participating Israel’s upcoming elections, with some being accused of “supporting terrorism” owing to their opposition to Israel’s decades-long military occupation of Palestine. Yet, by elevating clear terror supporters among the ranks of the Jewish Power Party, it has become increasingly clear that openly supporting and advocating anti-Muslim terrorism is no bar to legitimacy and political power in today’s Israel.

No ‘clash of civilizations,’ only manipulation and exploitation of differences

The tragic and barbaric shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand is yet another horrific and glaring reminder that the “divide and conquer” war propaganda that has sought to promote the so-called “clash of civilizations” between Christianity and Islam, West and East, has not only been monstrously effective but continues to be monstrously destructive to people on both sides.

However, the media’s manufacture of Islamophobia, in seeking to Wite-out Muslim suffering and reduce Western empathy for innocent Muslim civilians, has increasingly placed targets on the back of Muslims everywhere — in the West and the East — making it increasingly difficult for practitioners of the Islamic faith to feel safe regardless of where they live.

With most Muslim-majority countries now killing fields in Western-backed wars, ruled by oppressive, Western-backed dictatorships, or under threat of Western-backed regime change, even those Muslims who have sought a safer, quieter life in the “civilized” West have now found themselves targets thanks to the very war propaganda used to justify the destruction of their home countries.

While the murderer Tarrant had stated that he hoped his horrific crime would help stoke “civil war” in Western countries, this tragedy should and must serve as a wake up call for people everywhere that the real forces responsible for the destruction of many Muslim-majority countries and the current chaos present in many Western countries are not generated by civilian populations or religions but instead by the global oligarchy that engineers and profits from this chaos. These oligarchs loot from the people of the West just as they do from the people of the East and it is time to recognize that they are the real threats to a more peaceful world — not regular people praying, whether it be in a church, a synagogue or a mosque.

mintpressnews.com

White Nationalism Not Problem! Trump Says after NZ Attack

By Staff, Agencies

US President Donald Trump played down any threat posed by racist white nationalism on Friday after the terrorist accused of the New Zealand mosque massacre called the president “a symbol of renewed white identity.”

Trump, whose own previous responses to the movement have drawn scrutiny, expressed sympathy for the victims who died at “places of worship turned into scenes of evil killing.”

But he declined to join expressions of mounting concern about white nationalism, saying “I don’t, really” when asked whether he thought it was a rising threat around the world.

“I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems, I guess,” Trump said.

“If you look at what happened in New Zealand, perhaps that’s the case. I don’t know enough about it yet. But it’s certainly a terrible thing.”

Questioned about the accused suspect’s reference to him, Trump professed ignorance.

“I didn’t see it. I didn’t see it,” he said. “But I think it’s a horrible event … a horrible, disgraceful thing and a horrible act.”

The man accused of the shootings left behind a lengthy document that outlined his motivations.

He proudly stated that he was a 28-year-old Australian white nationalist who hates immigrants and was set off by attacks in Europe that were ‘perpetrated by Muslims.’ In a single reference, he mentioned the US president.

New Zealand mosque attacks: Politicians and media have blood on their hands

By Siema Iqbal

ICH

March 15, 2019 “Information Clearing House” –  We woke to news of at least 49 Muslims murdered in New Zealand by far-right fanatics.

We watched – or consciously avoided watching – in horror the live-streamed footage of Muslims being gunned down while praying. How depraved has society become when social media is used to lionise massacres?

I had to tell my children about the attack. I told them not to watch the videos or to be afraid of being who they are: Muslims.

Spreading hatred

Today, the media and politicians like American president Donald Trump and former British foreign secretary Boris Johnson, have condemned the attacks. The same media and the same politicians have helped spread hatred against Muslims and Islam. They have blood on their hands.

This terrible mass murder was committed on the other side of the world supposedly in the name of “Europe”. There are lessons for us here in Britain, just as there are across the world.

This hatred is institutional. We knew Islamophobia was endemic in the Conservative party, but we turned a blind eye. Not anymore.

Siema Iqbal@siemaiqbal

This senator is Australian.

He has blood on his hands .

Call out the bigotry and hold people responsible.

Enough is enough.

Do not dare say that Islamophobia does not exist. The media and politicians must be held to account.

If we allow fanatics to turn up outside mosques with their banners of hate, and give airtime and social media platforms to the likes of Tommy Robinson and Katie Hopkins, this is what happens.

If we continue to allow “think-tanks” to provide ammunition to parliamentarians and far-right leaders under the guise of “credible reports”, this is what happens.

Worldwide bigotry

This type of hatred is not confined to any country, but is widespread across the world.

Muslims are imprisoned in China; there are attacks on Muslims by Hindu nationalists in India; Rohingya Muslims are being ethnically cleansed in Myanmar. All of this is done in the name of tackling “extremism”, while ignoring the bigotry all around us.

Politicians might speak of their concern for the victims and families, but on a daily basis, many people are targeted by the far-right, as politicians have enabled a destructive discourse.

It’s time to admit that the UK’s Prevent strategy is not working. The “war on terror” has only fuelled hatred of Muslims in the general population, and distrust of the state among Muslim communities.

In 2013, the UK nearly suffered a similar attack against multiple mosques. Mosque security should be a major priority going forward.

Standing strong

Although Facebook was quick to remove a graphic video of the Christchurch attack, why was no action taken in response to previous posts threatening violence against Muslims?

How many more innocent people have to die before governments take a long, hard look at their role in creating this mess?

While many far-right extremists are celebrating the New Zealand attack, as a Muslim, I can promise you this: The more you attack us, the stronger and more united Muslims will become.

Today, the mosques will be packed – more than ever before – as prayers are offered for those killed. Muslims will never be afraid of bowing down to Allah, and nothing will stop us from doing so.

Siema Iqbal is a mother, a doctor and a British Muslim opinion writer based in Manchester. She is currently a partner and trainer at a North Manchester GP practice. She enjoys writing and can often be found public speaking and raising money and awareness for charities both in the UK and abroad.

This article was originally published by MEE” –

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