CHRISTCHURCH SHOOTING AND THE ISLAMISTS’ CONNECTION PART 2 (Conclusion)
Last week, I made the point that the sort of evil that unfolded recently in Christchurch was not new, and may not be the end except the world took practical steps in solving the issue of hate crime.
But is this the case?
On November 5, 2009, an episode similar to the Christchurch shooting took place at Fort Hood, Texas, United State when one Major Nidal Malik Hasan, a member of the American army, opened fire, killing 13 people and injuring 30 more.
In response, the American Department of Defence, like their law enforcement, politicians, journalists, and academics, described the incident as “workplace violence.” Even though, days after the shooting, reports in the media revealed that a Joint Terrorism Task Force had been aware of a series of emails between Major Hassan and one Yemen-based Imam by the name Anwar al-Awlaki.
Fast forward to today, the world did not mince words and was unanimous in condemning Brenton the Christchurch shooter and calling his crime by its name.
The Hassan example fits in a larger pattern, which is the establishment’s denial, political correctness, and double standard in dealing with issues related to Islamists terrorism. Everyone was quick to condemn Brenton, but no one paid attention to the fact that, one of his motivations was the activities of extremist Islamists which he saw during his trips two years before, and the issues surrounding migrant Muslims in the western world which he cited in his manifesto.
Are world leaders just going to put this lone shooter away, offer some fire brigade approach to the episode, and then fail to address the deep seated issues he raised, until another incident happens?
Islamism is a form of Islam that seeks to make Muslims dominant through an extreme, totalistic, and rigid application of Islamic law, the Shari’a, and it represents the leading global cause of terrorism. It reverts to medieval norms in its aspiration to create a caliphate that rules humanity. “Islam is the solution” summarizes the doctrine of Islamism. Islam’s public law can be summarized as elevating Muslims over non-Muslims, male over female, and endorsing the use of force to spread Muslim rule, and among its over 1.4 billion adherents, even a tiny percentage of that figure represent millions who subscribe to this ideology, yet the world fails to call it by its name. A visit to any Islamic country would convince any open minded person of the point am trying to make here.
It is important for us to note that the denial, hypocrisy, political correctness which comes predominantly from the United States and virtually all Western countries including this Pope, except Israel, will do no one any good.
Most of the world today tends to routinely deny that Islamist motives play a role in two ways, specific and general, in all terrorism by Islamist extremists. Instead, leaders point to a range of trivial, one-time, and individualistic motives, often casting the perpetrator as victim. We have seen a lot of examples of this over the years.
In 1990, the assassination of Rabbi Meir Kahane in New York was described as “A prescription drug for … depression.” The 1991 murder of Makin Morcos in Sydney was described as “a robbery gone wrong.” I can go on and on…
Politicians today and others avoid the mention of the words ‘Islam’, ‘Islamism’, ‘Muslims’, ‘Islamists’, ‘mujahideen’, or ‘jihadists’, instead, they blame ‘evildoers’, ‘militants’, ‘radical extremists’, ‘terrorists’, and ‘al-Qaeda’ when we see atrocities directly inspired by Islamic teachings.
For example, a day after 9/11, then U.S. secretary of state Colin Powell set the tone by asserting that the just-committed atrocities “should not be seen as something done by Arabs or Islamists; it is something that was done by terrorists.” But who were these terrorists? What religion did they practice? What was their inspiration? If we can condemn a white supremacist Brenton and call his crime by its name, why can’t we do the same for others? And these are the sort of injustices and double standard that people like Brenton see around them that moves them to madness.
The fear of the West is in not wanting to offend Muslims, and many have argued that, that is a sincere and reasonable goal. They say focusing on Islam, Islamism, or jihad increases Muslim fears that the West is engaged in a “war against Islam”. For example, former president Obama’s administration preferred not to use the term “violent Islamist extremists” when referring to terror attacks because using such explicit words “bolsters our enemy’s propaganda claim that the West is at war with Islam.”
Despite this, I know that “Not all Muslims are terrorist, but all terrorists are Muslim”.
While respecting the urge not to aggravate Muslim sensibilities and acknowledging that the frank discussion on Islam can have major consequences for society, American writer Daniel Pipes insists on the need to discuss Islam, because, while conceding that discussion of Islam has costs, ignoring it definitely costs more.
Nigeria, a country with over 198 million inhabitants has had its fair share, as it has been engaged in a war that has claimed more than 26,500 lives and displaced more than five million people internally throughout the ten years of ongoing conflict in northeast with Islamists terrorists, according to vanguard newspaper. Insecurity continues to impede access and the delivery of assistance. In 2018, more than seven million people required humanitarian assistance. In the three most affected states, it is estimated that nearly three million people do not have enough to eat and up to 940,000 children suffer from acute malnutrition, 440,000 of whom are in severe and life-threatening condition.
In the last 11 months alone, over 5,113 Nigerians have been killed by Islamists terrorist, bandits and herders. As at when the Christchurch shooting took place, over 100 Nigerians were killed in both the northern Nigerian States of Kaduna and Zamfara alone.
Where is the worldwide outrage over those killings? As we speak, the killings are still going on unabated. In as much as my heart goes out to the victims of the Christchurch shooting, I am forced to ask, are these people less human? Yet in less than 3 days, over 6 million Dollars was raised for the victims of the Christchurch shooting, even though the killer had been apprehended, and the government was taking care of the families of victims.
The Christchurch episode and the reaction of most world leaders gave the impression that most of those who reacted, reacted so because they wanted to be counted among those who are not “Islamophobe”, otherwise, why would the world pay no attention to the suffering of Christians in Islamic lands, and climb over themselves to condole with Muslims killed in Zealand?
Even the Holy Father Pope Francis appears to have keyed in on this political correctness when on the one hand, he said “If a friend uses a curse word against my mama, he’s going to get punched! It’s normal! It’s normal!” and on the other hand, at the same press conference, he said: “Always, for me, the best way to respond is meekness. To be meek, humble like bread, without undertaking aggression.” So, was the Pope tactfully admonishing the Christians in Muslim lands “to turn the other cheek”, when persecuted but the Muslims have the right to Punch the faces of the Christians when they feel insulted?
There is no group of minorities that have suffered more in the history of this world than Christians in Arab Islamic lands. After almost all the Islamic states had rid themselves of their Jewish population, they focused with violence and massacres on the substantial Christian minorities. It is a story that repeats itself and that goes from the Armenian genocide to the Coptic Christians of Egypt, to the Ethiopian and Nigerian Christians, all the way to Mosul. Yet, world leaders are willing to sacrifice them on the altars of pacifism, of political opportunism, of a misunderstood concept of tolerance…” and political correctness.
Christians continue to bear the name of their Teacher, who did not promise them an easy life when he said “If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. Because he who wishes to save his life will lose it; but he who loses his life for my sake and for that of the Gospel will save it” (Mark 8:34-35). These words have guided generations of Christians in Islamic lands but must it continue so?
One thing the world is failing to realise is that in a world like ours that is so grossly unfair to all, there is no place safe or unsafe for every human being and there are no fences possible to prevent those with evil intent. Who on this earth would have imagined even in wildest of dreams that such gruesome crime could take place in a country like New Zealand, one of the farthest and the most beautiful places on earth?
From supremacist like Brenton to the Islamic Radicals, we now know that all extremists tend to share a set of psychological or cognitive traits that underpin their actions. According to recent reports by the European Institute for Peace, these include grievances that are galvanised by a unifying ideology in which they tend to focus on a very limited set of ideas to interpret the world…
I am not an expert in terrorism, but I have read enough to know that the world can start to solve these issues by first off, calling all crimes and criminals, either white supremacists or Islamic terrorists, by their name.
All terror is evil, and all terrorists must be treated the way they are and not the way we wish them to be.
About the author: Afeso Akanbi is a writer, filmmaker and humanitarian. He lives in Abuja, Nigeria.
Email: [email protected] Twitter: @RealAfesoAkanbi Instagram: RealAfesoAkanbi Blog: akanbiafeso.com