We join millions all over the world in condemning the savage, heinous and unprovoked massacre of innocent worshippers in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on March 15. The Australian coward who perpetrated this outrage has been described as a far-right extremist, an Islamophobist, a vermin of the worst kind. We appeal to Muslims all over the world not to succumb to the natural first instinct and the temptation to revenge but to exercise calm and understanding in the face of obvious and extreme provocation.
This incident has now further confirmed, if the world ever needed a confirmation, that right-wing terrorism has become the greatest menace, a growing but a most pernicious threat to international peace and security. The world has spent the last three decades obsessed with and engrossed in fighting Islamic terrorism. But keen observers of the field of violence have been warning since the last 10 years that right-wing terrorism is the new danger. Think tanks of repute, security experts, keen and respected analysts have noted that although they can still execute monstrous violent attacks in many places, the erstwhile merchants of death like Al Qaeda and the Islamic State have virtually become like spent volcanoes.
The West seems to have treated these warnings with extreme levity, which seems to have provided so much energy for all the neo-fascist movements, racist organisations and segregationists and haters of immigrants. Now these forces have now multiplied from the United States through France, to Austria, Poland, Hungary and now New Zealand threatening race and religious war and violence against innocent, destitute immigrants who actually need and deserve help. The biggest victims have been Muslims, Africans and, even, Jews. Indeed, the recent upsurge in anti-Semitism in the United States, Britain, France and Germany are testimonies. The attack on the Synagogue in Pittsburgh, the neo-Nazi, Ku Klux Klan torchlight marches in Charlottesville in the US in 2017 were very potent signals that what happened in Christchurch is not an isolated incident but a manifestation of a new and gathering global crisis being engineered by the alt-right and the white supremacists.
Now emboldening these dark and destructive forces have been the rise to political power of the apostles of hate, segregation and anti-immigrants in the last few years in America and Europe. Special mention must be made of the Alternative fur Deutschland (AfD), National Front in France, Hungary’s President Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party and the Italian, British and Polish variants of these destructive racist organisations.
What happened in Christchurch has shown that the world has become too complacent about racism, bigotry, and white supremacist ideology which clearly produced the Christchurch tragedy. The West has got its priorities wrong in this matter, stashing up billions upon billions to fight a vanishing Islamist terror while ignoring the clear and present danger of white supremacist violence that is obviously going to kill thousands very soon.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, should table the menace of white supremacists in the Security Council because they are a threat to world peace and international security, and to sensitise the world on the dangers they pose.
The hero from Christchurch is no less a personage than the New Zealand Prime Minister, Mrs. Jacinda Ardern, who lamented “the worst day in New Zealand history.” But she didn’t stop there, or end up as the American leaders’ “I feel your pain” while walking away. She took concrete measures without hesitating, without worrying what the National Rifle Association would do; she ordered that the legislation be drafted to ban military style semi-automatic and assault weapons, high capacity magazines. She did not mince her words; the legislation would likely be passed in the next two weeks. That is leadership. We commiserate with the families of the deceased and urge the world to rise up to this growing danger.