British racists, New Zealand Islamophobic massacre copycats

This video says about itself:

New Zealand: Mourners continue laying flowers for Christchurch shooting victims

Mourners continued to pay respects to the victims of the deadly Christchurch shootings, next to the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch on Sunday.

By Paul Mitchell in Britain:

Far right attacks on UK Muslims following New Zealand massacre

21 March 2019

Several right-wing assaults have taken place in Britain since the horrific killing of 50 Muslim worshippers in Christchurch, New Zealand March 15.

Within hours, a 27-year-old man was attacked with a “hammer” and a “batten”, causing injuries to his head, outside a mosque in Whitechapel, East London. The victim had to be taken to hospital for checks before being discharged. The attack started when a gang of white men in their 20s shouted Islamophobic abuse and called the Friday worshippers “terrorists”, according to witnesses. “The suspects returned to their car and left the scene before police arrived,” a spokesperson for London’s Metropolitan Police said.

Despite the incident being filmed by several onlookers, no arrests have been made by the police.

While describing the attack as a “horrible hate crime”, Detective Chief Inspector Sean Channing was desperate to play down its significance. “Whilst there were initial Islamophobic comments made by this group towards the individual which are being treated seriously, I would like to make clear that at no point did the group approach any mosque or congregation in the area… There is no evidence to suggest that the mosque near the area was the intended target.”

On Saturday in Stanwell, near London’s Heathrow Airport, a 50-year-old man went on the rampage with a knife and baseball bat while shouting “All Muslims must die!”

Local residents described him also screaming, “White supremacists rule!” and “Do you wanna die? Well you’re gonna die!’’ before knifing a young Muslim teenager.

The suspect had previously been arrested for sending threats online.

A 24-year-old Syrian neighbour, Nemer Salem, said he had heard a man shouting racist abuse earlier on Saturday including “some crazy things about Muslims… I’m a Muslim and I got a little bit worried.” Another neighbour explained, “He never used to be like this, but over the last couple of months it’s like someone’s flipped a switch and he’s a completely different person.”

The alleged assailant was arrested near the scene on suspicion of attempted murder and racially aggravated public order. The victim of the stabbing was taken to hospital with his injuries described as not life-threatening.

On Sunday, Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, head of the UK’s Counter Terrorism Policing declared, “Whilst this investigation is still in its infancy, it has hallmarks of a terror event, inspired by the far-right, and therefore it has been declared a terrorism incident.”

The confirmation of a right-wing terror attack by Basu makes a mockery of his claims in the immediate aftermath of the Christchurch attack, echoed by the press and politicians, that what happened there was unconnected to the UK. Basu made the ludicrous claim that “there is no intelligence linking these appalling events in Christchurch to the UK.”

But as Socialist Equality Party (UK) national secretary Chris Marsden explained at the launch of the English-language edition of Why Are They Back? Historical Falsification, Political Conspiracy and the Return of Fascism in Germany in London Sunday, the Christchurch killer, Australian citizen Brenton Tarrant, was “part of an international network of far-right organisations”. He had been radicalised in Europe including the UK.

In his 73-page “manifesto”, Tarrant made hero-worshipping reference to British fascist Sir Oswald Mosley and Darren Osborne, imprisoned in 2017 after driving a van into worshippers outside Finsbury Park mosque in north London. Osborne had planned to assassinate London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who had been physically assaulted only last month at the same mosque. In his manifesto, Tarrant stated that Sadiq Khan is among three politicians who should be targeted for assassination.

Marsden explained, “In Britain, the Brexit referendum had been accompanied by a deluge of nationalism. In June 2016, … fascist Thomas Mair had shot and stabbed Labour MP Jo Cox to death. …

In February, the trial began regarding a neo-Nazi plot to murder Labour MP Rosie Cooper on behalf of the banned far right group, National Action. Jack Renshaw, 23, bought a machete and carried out research online planning how to kill Cooper for National Action and “white Jihad”. Renshaw has admitted preparing an act of terrorism but has denied being a member of National Action. He is on trial at the Old Bailey alongside Andrew Clarke, 34, and Michal Trubini, 36, from Warrington, who also deny membership of the proscribed organisation—which was banned over its support for the murder of Jo Cox.

This week Harun Khan, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, the UK’s largest Muslim umbrella body with over 500 affiliated organisations, mosques, charities and schools, said that Britain’s Muslim communities were “living under a palpable sense of fear.”

The Christchurch massacre, Khan continued, “makes the risk of copy-cat attacks here in the UK a real possibility, especially in a climate where we are now fully appreciating the growth in the far-right.”

Khan contrasted the government’s commitment of £14 million to support the security of around 400 synagogues and 150 Jewish schools (equivalent to £25,000 per institution) to counter “religiously based hate crime” (12 percent of total recorded hate crimes) with the £2.4 million handed out over three years to all other faith institutions. That is equivalent to less than £500 for each Muslim institution, even though 52 percent of hate crimes are directed at Muslims. Religious hate crimes rose by 40 percent, from 5,949 in 2016-17 to 8,336 in 2017-18, according to the Home Office.

More than 350 leading Islamic figures from countries including the UK, US and South Africa have signed a letter to the Guardian, which links Tarrant’s actions to an atmosphere of “systemic and institutionalised Islamophobia.”

The letter says: “This bigotry has been fuelled by certain callous academics, reckless politicians as well as media outlets who regularly feature those who demonise Islam and Muslims with impunity, disguising their vile mantra behind a veneer of objectivity.

“The massacre of Muslims did not just begin with bullets fired from the barrel of Tarrant’s gun. Rather it was decades in the making: inspired by Islamophobic media reports, hundreds and thousands of column inches of hatred printed in the press, many Muslim-hating politicians and unchecked social media bigotry.”

Conservative peer Sayeeda Warsi, a Muslim, felt obliged to call on the government to counter Islamophobia, saying it was the party’s “bigotry blind spot.” Last July, she called for a “full independent inquiry,” saying, “I’ve been warning my party of its ‘Muslim problem’ for far too long.” She had repeatedly raised the issue over the past three years—including writing to Theresa May—but “absolutely nothing tangible has happened”.

“I don’t really believe we have that big a problem,” one former minister told the Guardian. Conservative Party chairman Brandon Lewis accused Warsi of “missing out on key facts” about the party’s “clear process” and “swift action”.

His comments are shown up for the lies they are by the fact that this month saw 25 Conservative members suspended pending investigations that they made Islamophobic statements on social media. One made the comment, “I was going through a few magazines the other day down at the local Mosque. I was really enjoying myself. Then the rifle jammed.”

Last month, 14 Conservative members of the Facebook group, “Jacob Rees-Mogg: Supporters’ Group,” were suspended for Islamophobic and racist comments, including demands to “send them home now.”

Thursday, March 21, 2019. British Muslims call on government for support in fight against Islamophobia after five mosques attacked in Birmingham: here.

On a Brazilian extreme right school shooting, by Miguel Andrade, 21 March 2019:

Brazil, one of the most unequal and violent countries in the world, was left stunned a week ago on Wednesday by the brutality of a school shooting in the city of Suzano, in the industrial belt surrounding São Paulo. Two former students of the Raul Brasil State School, one aged 17 and the other 25, opened fire during a class break, killing five students and two school officials and wounding 17 others, before the 17-year-old shot his older accomplice and killed himself as the police arrived. …

Much evidence, including social media posts, has also shown that the shooters had grown increasingly close to the far-right milieu, including to the online defenders of unabashed police violence in Brazil and promoters of violent threats against public figures associated with the left, and, not least, those targeted by Brazil’s fascistic President Jair Bolsonaro himself.

At some point, Monteiro started adopting American neo-Nazi symbols, including the skull balaclava that he wore when he invaded the Raul Brasil school, and which is worn by members of the neo-Nazi “Atomwaffen Division” in the US. An active line of investigation is being pursued into what extent the shooters had been involved with dark web “chans”—like those used by the fascist terrorist of Christchurch, where, in the wake of the massacre, monitors have detected not only messages of celebration, but also the emergence of messages being attributed to the shooters in Brazil.

This 15 March 2019 video from Canada says about itself:

New Zealand mosque shootings: Vigils mourn victims worldwide

Christchurch victims were mourned and racism denounced at vigils across Canada and the world.

By Tom Peters in New Zealand:

After far-right terror attack, New York Times glorifies New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

21 March 2019

Following the March 15 terrorist attack by Australian fascist Brenton Tarrant, who killed 50 people in two Christchurch mosques motivated by hatred of immigrants and Muslims, the political establishment and media in New Zealand, Australia, the US and Europe have sought to wash their hands of any responsibility for the massacre.

The gunman is being falsely presented as someone who acted alone and whose extremism had nothing to do with the right-wing, anti-immigrant policies advocated for decades by the media and capitalist politicians. Seeking to cover its tracks, New Zealand’s opposition National Party removed a link from its website to a petition opposing the recent UN Migration agreement. Media outlets such as Newstalk ZB have reportedly been removing articles from website archives demonising Muslims. The media and government are largely blaming the tragedy on social media and demanding a crackdown on the ability to upload live videos.

A major element of the campaign to divert attention from the real causes of the terrorist attack is the near-universal glorification of NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s “inspirational” leadership. A nationalist personality cult is being promoted around Ardern in order to drown out any discussion of the role played by the Labour Party, and every party in parliament, in promoting anti-immigrant xenophobia to divide the working class and deflect blame for the social crisis created by capitalism.

On Tuesday the New York Times, the US newspaper of record, aligned with the Democrats, published an article by Sushil Aaron, “Why Jacinda Ardern Matters”, which declared that Ardern’s “moral clarity is inspiring the world”. New Zealand’s prime minister, Aaron declared, “is emerging as the definitive progressive antithesis to the crowded field of right-wing strongmen like President Trump, Viktor Orban of Hungary and Narendra Modi of India, whose careers thrive on illiberal, anti-Muslim rhetoric.”

As evidence, Aaron pointed to Ardern’s expressions of sympathy at vigils and meetings with victims’ families. He also cited the prime minister’s suggestion that Trump should show “sympathy and love for all Muslim communities.” This lame comment is being falsely depicted as a major rebuke to Trump, a fascistic figure who has deliberately stoked anti-Muslim bigotry and was seen by the Christchurch terrorist as a “symbol of white renewal.”

The Times article largely resembles a travel advertisement for New Zealand, depicting the country as a liberal paradise with “a national culture unlike any other in Europe or the Americas,” beautiful scenery, parks, libraries and “modest” healthcare and education costs.

Outrageously, Aaron claims that migrants face only “subtle forms of exclusion” in New Zealand and “there is a vibrant political debate on immigration and about the need to import skilled labor without provoking domestic tensions—all conducted without rancor or vitriol.”

The entire article is a pack of lies and distortions. Like similar articles in the UK Guardian and the New Zealand and Australian media, the New York Times does not mention the fact that the Labour Party has for years worked in an alliance with the right-wing nationalist NZ First Party, the main promoter of anti-immigrant, anti-Chinese and anti-Muslim demagogy.

Labour has adopted NZ First’s policies, including demands for major reductions in immigration. As in Europe, India and the US, right-wing nationalists have been actively promoted within New Zealand and are now at the centre of the government.

The Labour Party and the Greens contested the 2014 and 2017 elections in an alliance with NZ First and the three parties formed a coalition government in October 2017. Far from being the antithesis of the Trump administration, as the Times would have it, the Labour-NZ First-Greens coalition deal was backed by Washington. Following the election, Trump’s appointed ambassador Scott Brown publicly criticised the previous National Party government for its reluctance to fully endorse Trump’s threats against North Korea, and made clear that the next government should align more strongly with the US build-up to war against China.

NZ First, which only received 7.2 percent of the votes, was given unprecedented power by Ardern. Its leader Winston Peters was made foreign minister and deputy prime minister. NZ First’s Ron Mark became the defence minister.

The Ardern government significantly strengthened the alliance with the US. Its 2018 defence policy statement adopted the Trump administration’s description of Russia and China as the main “threats” to global stability. Peters has called on the US to increase its military presence in the Pacific to push back against China, while supporting a media-led witch-hunt against Chinese “influence” in New Zealand.

Peters told the media on Tuesday that the Christchurch atrocity was “committed by a person who is not a New Zealander, is utterly contrary to our core beliefs.” On the same day, however, he refused to retract his past anti-Muslim statements, including a 2005 speech in which he said “New Zealand has never been a nation of Islamic immigrants,” and accused moderate Muslims of working “hand and glove” with “militants” who threatened “the Christian faith.” Labour and the Greens made no criticism of Peters’ stance.

In June 2016, after Peters delivered another chauvinist rant accusing the Islamic community of harbouring “extremists”, Green and Labour MPs hypocritically denounced his statements as “shameful” and “disgraceful”. At the same time, however, Greens leader James Shaw told TVNZ: “I feel very comfortable with the idea that we may end up working with NZ First” in government.

The climate of anti-Muslim racism which helped produce the fascist attack in Christchurch has been deliberately created to justify the US-led “war on terror”, which successive Australian and New Zealand governments have supported over the past two decades. The Ardern government has kept soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, where they have been implicated in massacres of civilians. More than a million people have died in these brutal imperialist wars.

The Labour Party has always used nationalism and anti-immigrant policies to divide the working class. Following the 2008 financial crash, Labour supported the then-National Party government’s austerity measures, which led to soaring social inequality, and repeatedly sought to divert blame onto immigrants.

In 2015, Labour notoriously scapegoated people with “Chinese sounding names” for New Zealand’s lack of affordable housing, caused by rampant speculation. The Ardern government banned foreigners from buying houses. It also restricted the ability of foreign students to work in New Zealand, after NZ First … attacked them for “taking” jobs from “Kiwi workers.”

Then-Labour leader Andrew Little declared in 2017 it was too “easy [for employers] to get somebody from overseas and keep locals out of work.” Such nationalist rhetoric failed to boost the party’s support in the working class, where it is widely seen as a party of war and big business, just like National. The working class is increasingly international in character, with one in four New Zealand residents born overseas.

Ardern was made leader just two months before the 2017 election in a desperate bid to save the party from a disastrous defeat. Despite a media campaign to promote her as progressive, based on her youth and her gender, Labour only received 36 percent of the votes and could only form a government with NZ First and the Greens.

Since then, Ardern has been glorified in the international media, including for having a baby while in office, which was ludicrously presented as a major step forward for “women workers”. …

The posturing of Ardern and the Labour Party as opponents of anti-Muslim xenophobia and racism is an attempt to cover up the fact that every establishment party in New Zealand, Australia, Europe and the US has helped to create the foul political atmosphere in which fascists and right-wing nationalists have grown. Fascism can only be defeated by the international working class, united in a socialist struggle against the capitalist system, which is the source of austerity, nationalism and imperialist war.

10 thoughts on “British racists, New Zealand Islamophobic massacre copycats

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