Our deepest sympathies go out to the victims and their families who were targeted in a grievous terrorist attack while at Friday prayers on the 16th of March in Christchurch, New Zealand, where 49 people were slaughtered by a gunman who live-streamed his killing with automatic weapons on social media. This is not an isolated incident, as some, such as US President Trump, pretend. This is part of a global right wing campaign that will not be stopped easily.
Mainstream western politicians and media have been supplying the fuel and oxygen needed to fan the flames of hatred against immigrants and Muslims. Public expressions of fear mongering have intensified around the false narrative of the white man becoming a second-class citizen in his own country due to immigrants, especially those from Muslim countries.
– Immigrants have been the target of fear and hate on both sides of the Atlantic since the 2016 campaigns for the US presidency and for Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union. Both centered on the narrative of an existential struggle for identity with the common theme of white Anglo-Saxon culture under threat from outsiders. Targets include Muslims, Mexicans, Poles and others. All are claimed to threaten the poor ‘white’ English or American worker with loss of jobs and annihilation of his culture and language.
– Laura Ingraham of Fox News has said that “the America we know and love doesn’t exist anymore” because “Massive demographic changes have been foisted upon the American people and they’re changes that none of us ever voted for and most of us don’t like.”
– Congressman Steve King warned that “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”
– Trump has exploited this fear the most effectively, and the gunman left behind him a 74-page manifesto which praised Trump “as a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.”
– This is a common theme and Norwegian Anders Breivik also posted a manifesto before killing 77 people in 2011. He wasn’t targeting immigrants or Muslims directly but sought to punish left leaning Europeans for endorsing multiculturalism, which he saw as leading to “the certain Islamic takeover of Europe to completely annihilate European Christendom within the next hundred years”.
– Much of the right-wing media attack against immigrants is focused on Muslims. Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims” as a candidate and issued a presidential decree to ban Muslim travel to the US. Also, while many European politicians are skilled enough in anti-Muslim rhetoric, Trump warned them that immigration “changed the fabric of Europe — and unless you act very quickly, it’s never going to be what it was.”
– Women have been especially a target for demonization. The UK’s Boris Johnson likened veiled Muslim women to “letter boxes” and “bank robbers” last August, and the previous Prime Minister, David Cameron, complained about the “traditional submissiveness” of Muslim women. Currently, with the defeat of the ‘Daesh’ parody of Islam, the media is full of remarks about so-called ‘ISIS brides’. The Muslim woman, especially in her adherence to Islamic values of modesty in dress, has been most seriously targeted for degradation, and of all the horrid scenes that the Christchurch attacker streamed live was one of a Muslim woman being gunned down at a distance to be approached by the killer who shot her again at close range while she was lying face down in the road outside the mosque calling for help. The killer didn’t help her, but neither did those evil politicians who call themselves liberal, yet demonise and insult Muslim woman ruthlessly.
It would be a mistake to view the hate-mongering as only the product of evil right-wing politicians. There is a terrible problem with race and nationality, because the modern Western conception of statehood is centered upon race. National sovereignty means just that, and over the past two centuries European states have formed themselves upon national bases and have reinvented their histories around the heroes and poets of their individual cultures and languages. This is a relatively new political conception in Europe, and the rise of Nazi Germany is not the only disaster that strident ‘national’ awareness in the face of economic and social decline has created. The incorporation of nationalism into the heart of the Western concept of statehood means that Western politicians can never stamp out the hatred or draw a neat line in the sand between ‘legitimate’ expressions of national identity and incitement that leads to hatred of ‘others’.
Only the Khilafah Rashidah (righteous Caliphate) system can harmonize between races. The world is lacking now a tangible model for how people of different races and even starkly different cultures can live together without the stronger feeling threatened by the weaker in times of depression. The Islamic system of governance was set up by the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him) 1400 years ago, which served as a beacon of light through Europe’s Dark Ages, and its absence since early in the last century has been a disaster, not only for Muslims, but for all humanity. In its absence, countless race wars and massacres have attested to that. Muslims are familiar with their history, but not so the rest of the world, and it is the imperative of our age for Muslims to shoulder the burden of replacing the corrupted rulers of their lands who sully the image of Muslims by their oppression and bloodthirsty behavior. When the blood of Muslims appears so cheap in Yemen, Iraq, Egypt and Syria and elsewhere, even in their own embassies, it should be remembered that others are watching and judging, and in their ignorance learning the wrong lessons about us. The Khilafah Rashidah (righteous Caliphate) would apply meaningful pressure on those seeking to defame Islam and Muslims, and would open its arms to immigrants without the fear that pervades the West.
The Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir
Tuesday, 12th Rajab 1440 AH
Issue No: 1440 AH / 025