Americas, Analysis, Europe, Side Feature

Racist Mass Shootings: A Western Cultural Phenomenon

On Saturday, 3rd of August, the United States of America witnessed its 17th deadly mass shooting so far in 2019, when 20 people were massacred in El Paso, Texas and then another 9 people on Sunday in Dayton, Ohio. Since the beginning of this year, there has been a mass shooting every 13 days on average, spread all over the country. Several of these attacks have been motivated by racism or xenophobia. (ABC News, 05.08.2019)

The rise in hate crimes in the United States and Trump’s international mafia policy are indicative of the same moral collapse in American society. The mass murderer in Texas, like Trump, has described Mexican immigrants as criminal invaders, as they both share the same hateful, racist mindset.

The president described the attack in Texas as a an “act of cowardice”, and he stated that “mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger” in a futile attempt to divert attention from the fact that these crimes are the result of the policies and rhetoric of blatant racism, revived and brought to power by the likes of himself. The truth is that the act is not only one of cowardice, but also an expression of a culturally embedded racism, which is deeply rooted in Western history and thought. It is the Western cultural heritage that gave birth to Nazism and Fascism in the 20th century.

Hate and persecution against minority groups is deeply rooted in Western history, not least in the era of secular liberalism. White supremacy is but one of the ugly byproducts of this ideological foundation, and although Trump has fueled white nationalism, the ideas are deeper and embedded in Western societies. Centuries of colonial rule has engrained the white superiority complex, and America was built on the backs of slaves and the genocide of Native Americans. Racism is systemic, integrated in capitalism and not exclusive to a certain administration. Therefore, this horrific phenomenon will not be fundamentally dealt with until these foundations are eradicated.

Islam categorically forbids nationalism and racism, and from its very inception it dealt with the issue and solved it from an ideological and systemic basis. The Prophet Muhammad (saws) said in his famous last sermon:

«أَلَا لَا فَضْلَ لِعَرَبِيٍّ عَلَى أَعْجَمِيٍّ وَلَا لِعَجَمِيٍّ عَلَى عَرَبِيٍّ وَلَا لِأَحْمَرَ عَلَى أَسْوَدَ وَلَا أَسْوَدَ عَلَى أَحْمَرَ إِلَّا بِالتَّقْوَى»

Verily, there is no superiority of an Arab over a non-Arab or of a non-Arab over an Arab, and neither a white man over a black man, or of a black man over a white man, except in taqwa (righteousness and God-consciousness)”.

Thus, it is the application of Islam’s complete mercy as a way of life and a political system that, by the will of Allah, will eradicate the foundations of racist colonialism, genocides, terrorism and hate crimes from the world and truly melt peoples together with true and eternal human values, as it did throughout most of its history.

Written by Suleiman Lamrabet