Once again the world has been shaken by an attack by white racism, in another illustration of ultra-nationalism and racial hatred turning man terrorist. Fifty human lives were lost in a shooting by the Australilan white supremacist Brenton Tarrant on people who had come for Friday congregations in Al-Noor Masjid and Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch. Most of the victims were immigrants from south Asia and west Asia. Three Indians, including Ansi from Kodungallur, were also among the dead.
Western media were at a loss to choose between words like shooting or massacre, for the racial assault which the assailant, equipped with camera inside a cap, telecast live through social media. But New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern had no hesitation to declare: it was an act of terrorism, it was planned and rooted in right-wing persuasions; most of the victims were immigrants and those who made New Zealand their home. She added that the perpetrator of the crime was not one among them. By all means, the stance taken by prime minister Jacinda give hope and was a model from a leader when handling such attacks.
The racial assaults in New Zealand are not isolated or a fit of violence by someone under psychic disorder. Nor is it merely a reflection of an anti-immigration sentiment. This ruthless act is a result of Islamophobia that is spreading around the world. And that has been underpinned by the white racist supremacy doctrines gaining strength recently in Europe and America. Tarrant took his gun after posting on social media his 74-page manifesto titled 'the great replacement', and seeking the blessings of Anders Breivik who had killed 77 people in Norway in 2011. They were living in the peak of anti-Muslim sentiment and white infallibility. He wrote in his manifesto, "The origins of my language is European, my culture is European, my political beliefs are European, my philosophical beliefs are European, my identity is European and, most importantly, my blood is European”. His song of inspiration while driving to the shooting site was the marching song sung by the Serbian para-military troops in the Bosnian genocide during 1992-95, and his hero is Donald Trump who for him was " a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose". He is a willing subscriber to the ultra-racist politics that declares blacks, Muslims and liberals as enemies. All that Tarrant's manifesto contains are the lies and half-truths propounded on the streets by those like Trump, Marine LePen and Nigel Farage and circulated by right-wing media around the world. The reaction of Trump to the New Zealand violence was that it was an isolated incident and that he did not think white nationalism was dangerously on the rise in the world. In fact, in America alone, racial attacks against blacks and Muslims alone registered a rise by 20 per cent, and Trump and his men are the only ones who do not accept this. The fact that Washington Post had to reply Trump saying there was no word more fitting to the Christchurch shooting than white racial terrorism, is because Tarrant symbolised the politics of white racial infallibility led by Trump.
The scourge of white racism that is gripping Europe again can be reined in only by building up on a politics and milieu that represents racial co-existence. The deporable brand of fanaticism has to be declared a crime, at the same time when amity and friendship should be fostered with their own nourishment. Love will always conquer hatred. What the New Zealand citizenry expressed through heaps of love for Muslims with their flower walls, was a politics of brotherhood. The prime minister declared that she would not be a national leader to build a wall to stop immigrants like US President Trump, that it was the immigrants who built up the nation and that her government's decision was to double the quota of citizenship for refugees. At the root of such attacks are ignorance about Islam and deliberate spread of misgivings about the religion. Therefore, Europe should be prepared to take on politically and legally the propagation of Islamophobia. The intellectual and social co-existence between Islam and Europe dates back centuries. White supremacist racism of recent times can be uprooted only by making it more broadbased and by defeating the spread of hatred and portrayal of Islam as synonymous with terror. The terrorist attacks on the mosques in Chirstchurch tell us that it is high time this is achieved.