On the March 15, 2019, the world witnessed yet another chilling reminder of the dangers of white supremacy to innocent lives. As it stands, 49 people are known to be dead and over 20 in critical condition following a live streamed slaughter of two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. This cold hearted and meditated act of murder has resulted in the loss of innocent lives. Lives of men, children and women who migrated from countries like Bangladesh and Pakistan with the only intention of living and thriving. Some of these lives include Mucad Ibrahim (three), Daoud Nabi (71) and Talha Rashid (21). Rather than validate the poor excuse of a man that felt it was his right to steal these people’s lives, let us remember these names instead and keep them in our thoughts.
What seems so clear to me from this tragedy is that many of us have the privilege of being shocked and haunted by this clear act of terror. Many of us can live our lives as normal after the headlines fade to a distant memory. But for Muslims and people of colour around the world, this is a reminder that the Western world not only brushes aside Islamophobia with ease, but in many cases is a promoter and facilitator of it, that a man can literally write an 87-page manifesto on “dealing” with Muslims and still have Western news outlets portray him as a fallen angel with troubled past. It is another example of how even the safest of spaces can become a target to be used against you when trying to exist in countries founded on the ideology of white supremacy.
The vile acts of this man, as heinous and diabolical as they are, are not what I want to address in the post. The gravity of its horror should be obvious to everyone. If it isn’t, I hope to never have a view of yours again, you won’t be missed here. What I do want to address is the ways in which such acts of this nature are allowed to exist and validated by extreme nationalism and white supremacy. Rather than give this act of terror anymore of our time, I want to focus on a particular response from Australian Senator, Fraser Anning. How about I just give you a few of the main highlights?
- “The real cause of bloodshed on New Zealand streets today is the immigration program which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place.”
- “While Muslims may have been the victims today, usually they are the perpetrators.”
- That Islam is “the religious equivalent of fascism.”
- And, the icing on top of the world's shittiest cake: “As we read in Matthew 26:52, All they that live by the sword, shall perish by the sword.”
Where do I even begin? You might be asking yourself, how does a man like this find his way into Parliament and remain there after promoting such hatred and justifying such deplorable violence? Some of you must be getting very tired of hearing about how British colonialism—a system that thrived by annexing the land of indigenous civilizations across the world in the name of whiteness and Christianity—is what has led us to the place we are in today. Well, that’s a shame because it’s a truth that will never go away and will never stop being addressed, not by me at the very least. That quaint little Bible quote at the end is really what spun me. I honestly find it hilarious how people are so comfortable to use a religion that was used to justify European expansion as the utmost example of morality.
To say that Muslims are the usual perpetrators of violence must be some sort of sick joke. I would really like him to explain how a three-year-old child had “lived and died” by the sword? When Western civilisation has been the deadliest force against Muslim lives in the past decade in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and beyond I find it very telling that somehow there is still a way for people to still misplace the blame. White supremacy will never have sympathy for a stolen brown life. It is more than clear here that, to him, these lives were destined to end violently. To him, their religion denies them the right to live a peaceful life. There is no real tragedy to mourn here.
With the current British national interest in the Shamima Begum case and the tensions surrounding her radicalisation, this tragedy in Christchurch really draws a lot of questions to the forefront of my mind. In particular, it makes me wonder to what extent Muslims are even considered in part of the narrative of Western national identities? Have they ever even really had a place here? I leave that question to you. Of course, I don’t believe that Anning should be seen as the spokesperson for whiteness in the slightest. But as long as men like him can have power, should we not be worried? Does that not reflect something dangerous? Are stricter gun laws and an egg to the head from a 16-year-old boy really enough?
You can donate to the families and community effected through links on the Marie Clare website, found here.