Egyptian feminist against Islamophobia

Egyptian feminist Mona Eltahawy, EPA photo

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

The Egyptian is a well-known feminist, who wrote several books about patriarchy, the rule of men, in the Islamic world. She is also a well-known critic of racism in the US, where she lives.

Eltahawy also played an important role on social media in the commotion surrounding the Saudi teenager Rahaf Mohammed who fled Saudi Arabia from her family. She was en route to Australia, but stranded in Thailand. Eltahawy, with more than 300,000 followers on Twitter, committed to her cause. …

Eltahawy explains that she is not only fighting against patriarchy, but that feminism is also about fighting other forms of intolerance such as white supremacy, racism, fascism and Islamophobia. “This is a time when hatred is growing in Europe, including the Netherlands. Two months ago a white extremist Islamophobic man slaughtered 51 Muslims. In the US we have a president who introduced a Muslim ban and continuously attacks one of the first Muslim women in the Congress.” She calls it dangerous times.


Donald Trump’s Islamophobia, video

This 14 April 2018 video from Democratic party Congresswoman and presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard in the USA says about itself:

Trump foments religious bigotry for political gain

Trump is shamelessly trying to foment religious bigotry against Representative Ilhan Omar & all Muslims based upon the horrendous actions of a few individuals claiming to be Muslim. This is the very definition of religious bigotry & Trump is fomenting it for political gain. Dangerous & sad.

British Conservative party Islamophobia

This 21 September 2018 video by Owen Jones from Britain says about itself:

The Conservative party is racist

Conservative members of the European Parliament recently decided to give their backing to the far right Hungarian autocrat, Viktor Orbán. They were the only centre right party to back Orbán, who has been accused of both antisemitism and Islamophobia amongst other things.

But we shouldn’t be surprised. The Tories have a long history of racism in their ranks.

They’ve recently ignored [Conservative] Baroness Sayeeda Warsi’s calls to hold an inquiry into the rampant Islamophobia in their ranks, Zac Goldsmith’s campaign to become London mayor was dripping with Islamophobia, Boris Johnson‘s political and journalistic career has been characterised by racist bilge and that’s before we even get into the likes of Margaret Thatcher and Enoch Powell.

The Conservative party fans bigotry and divides communities in order to gain political power. It always has done and, I think, always will do.

By Margot Miller in Britain:

UK Conservatives’ rampant Islamophobia and racism covered up by party tops, downplayed by media

29 March 2019

Ever since Jeremy Corbyn was elected as Labour Party leader in 2015, a hysterical witch-hunt against him and the wider left has been led by the Blairites, the media and the ruling Conservative Party equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. …

These smears and lies, designed to rewrite political history to associate the left with anti-Semitism, have been conducted by newspapers all but blind to the naked Islamophobia and racism within the Conservative Party.

This month an anonymous Twitter account, @matesjacob, sent damning material to the Guardian which it was obliged to report. On March 5, the Guardian reported that 14 Conservative members had been suspended for allegedly making Islamophobic comments on social media that could have been easily unearthed by any major newspaper. In total, the party suspended more than 40 members over allegations of anti-Muslim behaviour.

On March 18, the BuzzFeed news site reported that another 25 self-proclaimed Tories had posted similar offensive material on Facebook. Buzzfeed noted that the Tories “refused to say how many of the 25 had been suspended.”

Within days, on March 24, the Guardian reported that 15 of the suspended Tory members, who served as elected councillors, had been quietly reinstated. The Guardian noted that its research “suggested that in the majority of cases where a councillor was reprimanded for retweeting or sharing offensive content, they were later readmitted to the party.”

Conservative councillor Martyn York, in Wellingborough, a moderator for the Facebook page “Boris Johnson: Supporters’ Group”, was recently suspended for Islamophobic comments, including some inciting violence, that were allowed on the site with 4,800 members.

Dorinda Bailey, a former Conservative council candidate and member of the group, replied to a user saying of mosques, “Bomb the f****** lot”: “I agree, but any chance you could edit your comment please. No swearing policy.”

Group members referred to Muslims as “ragheads” and described immigrants as “cockroaches”. One told a black soldier to “p*** off back to Africa” and for black former Labour MP Fiona Onasanya to be “put on a banana boat back home”.

Two Conservative councillors from East Staffordshire resigned following criticism for liking and sharing a post which showed the queen beheading London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

On the same day as it reported the reinstatement of the councillors, the Guardian published evidence of five more Islamophobic social media postings by Tory party members.

One said, “Muslims are cavemen” who should be “rounded up”, alongside offensive remarks about Muslim women on a Facebook page, the “Jacob Rees-Mogg Supporters Group.”

A filthy social media posting, uncovered by matesjacob, and written just days before the fascist gunman Brenton Tarrant murdered 50 people in a massacre at two mosques in New Zealand, declared, “I was going through a few magazines the other day down the local mosque. I was really enjoying myself. Then the rifle jammed.” The Guardian reported that the author of these lines “photographed himself with Boris Johnson in 2015.” Johnson is a leader of the Tory’s hard-Brexit wing, former foreign secretary and expected future leadership contender.

Other comments included, “turf all Muslims out of public office”. Another wanted to “get rid of all mosques” agreeing that “no Pakistani should become prime minister”. Another read, “A practicing Muslim should not be allowed to work in any of the emergency professions.” “No Muslim will get my vote”, read one post and another, “stand against the Islamification of our country.” A vote cast for [Conservative] Home Secretary Sajid Javid would be a vote for “Islam to lead this country”, wrote another.

Most sinister of all, one post in the group showed a map where all mosques are situated in the UK, eliciting several racist responses including, “[W]e’re just letting the takeover happen.”

Brenton’s Tarrant’s massacre in Christchurch was followed by a number of attacks on mosques in the UK. In 2017, the fascist Darren Osborne drove a van into Muslim worshippers outside London’s Finsbury Park Mosque that left one dead and 10 injured.

Racist views pervade the highest echelons of the party. Conservative MP for Harrow East, Bob Blackman, posted an article on Facebook last year with the inflammatory header “Muslim Somali sex gang say raping white British children ‘part of their culture.’” He invited Indian anti-Muslim Hindu politician Tapan Ghosh to Parliament last year. While in Britain, Ghosh met with Tommy Robinson, the far-right ex-leader of the English Defence League (EDL).

The leader of Swale Borough Council, Andrew Bowles, found himself suspended after sharing a post defending Robinson as a patriot. He was fully reinstated after just 13 days. Solihull Borough Councillor Jeff Potts was also readmitted after his suspension last September for tweeting that all Muslims should face deportation, otherwise they would “kill innocent people for generations to come.”

Another reinstated councillor is Mike Payne from Calderdale, who posted, “France slashed benefits to Muslim parasites”.

A Conservative candidate for Hounslow council, Peter Lamb, was forced to resign, though his initial suspension was lifted, after tweeting in 2015, “Islam is like alcoholism. The first step to recovery is to admit you have a problem.”

The Muslim Council of Britain has been calling since 2016 for the Conservatives to hold an inquiry into Islamophobia in the party, the scale of which they describe as “astonishing.” The Council told VICE that “racists clearly feel emboldened by Boris Johnson’s Islamophobic comments.”

Last Summer, Johnson was denounced for “dog-whistle” Islamophobia by Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, a former Conservative chair and the UK’s first Muslim cabinet minister, after he compared Muslim women in burqas to “letterboxes” and “bank robbers”.

Warsi has accused her party of “institutional” anti-Muslim behaviour and “turning a blind eye” to prejudice. She has demanded an inquiry into Islamophobia in the party for three years.

While trying to downplay evidence of widespread racism within the party, ConservativeHome editor Paul Goodman was forced to acknowledge that it “has a Tommy Robinson tendency”. However, the site, owned by former deputy chairman of the Conservative Party Lord Ashcroft, is itself littered with Islamophobic comments.

The VICE website reported that one posting on the site likened the burqa to “SS uniforms” and raised the need “to eradicate the cancer of Islam” and “Middle Eastern cultures”. Another wrote, “People like the EDL want to protect English communities from the very apparent depredations of Muslim grooming gangs and other predatory behaviour.” Another asked, “Do we English wish to be integrated with the foreign populations colonising, displacing and replacing Us?”

The Conservative Party has a long history of whipping up racism in a divide-and-conquer strategy to legitimise its policies of austerity, militarism and war.

Since 2002, 63 people belonging to the “Windrush generation” of West Indian migrants residing legally in the UK have been snatched from their homes and deported illegally.

For a month in mid-2013, the Home Office sent vans into six London boroughs with high immigrant populations plastered with the slogans: “In the UK illegally? Go home or face arrest.” May launched this policy as home secretary in the Cameron-led Tory government.

In January 1978, Tory Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher made the infamous statement that “people are really rather afraid that this country might be rather swamped by people with a different culture.” In 2014, then Conservative Defence Secretary Michael Fallon repeated Thatcher’s words, declaring that towns in Britain are being “swamped” by immigrants. They were “under siege [with] large numbers of migrant workers and people claiming benefits.”

The postings uncovered from only a small number of the many pro-Conservative social media pages must be taken together with the innumerable comments posted in pro-Tory newspapers as proof that Britain’s ruling party is a hotbed of fascist reaction. While fascism does not yet have a mass social base, a rabid, fascistic layer is being deliberately nurtured and encouraged by the Conservatives, as with other bourgeois parties internationally, as they move to more authoritarian forms of rule and make ready the forces who will be used to combat a resurgent movement of the working class.

New Zealand mosque murderer and other fascists

This 15 March 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Burnett: Trump embraced same word as suspected shooter

CNN’s Erin Burnett discusses President Trump‘s reaction to the mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand, at two mosques by a white nationalist that left 49 [50] people dead and dozens injured.

By Solomon Hughes in Britain:

Friday, March 22, 2019

Fighting ‘The Great Replacement’

SOLOMON HUGHES tackles the ways in which the modern fascist movement are pushing their ideas into the mainstream

THE Christchurch mass murder shows fascism’s violent extreme. But, as the alleged killer’s manifesto shows, the fascists are also looking at ways to reach into the mainstream.

Worse, you don’t have to look to hard to see mainstream politicians reaching back and playing with the same racist themes that have ended in bloodshed.

Fifty men, women and children had their lives brutally taken. The pain, bravery and dignity of the victims and their loved ones should be in our hearts. But unfortunately we also have to understand the poison that killed them.

The killer wanted to murder his way from zero to hero. I don’t want to reward this inadequate man by taking his essay too seriously, but the document does show a core modern fascist idea in its title: “The Great Replacement.” Fascists want to convince the world that immigrants are “replacing” white people in the West: they particularly hate Muslims, but all non-white folk, Jewish people and Roma are also called “invaders” who must be driven out.

This basic racism leads to a full fascist ideology: immigrants are succeeding because “white birth rates” are too low: “white” women must have more babies. Western culture is causing the “destruction of the traditional family unit” because of “degenerate pop icons” — the manifesto singles out Madonna and Freddy Mercury among the bigger dangers.

Murdering people at prayer, wanting a society that will stop pop music and make “white” women have more babies to outnumber “immigrants”, calling our migrant friends, neighbours and workmates “invaders” — it’s not a politics that will easily appeal beyond an ugly hard core.

Fascists know their full politics look ugly and sound stupid to most, so have strategies to reach beyond their core. They are very keen on mainstream politicians who reflect just some of their views. They want to smuggle their ideas out disguised in “humour” or “irony”, because stating them directly causes revulsion.

A leaked style guide for leading fascist website The Daily Stormer says why: it promotes the “ironic”, sarcastic style of far-right talk that has become synonymous with the “alt right” because “most people are not comfortable with material that comes across as vitriolic, raging, non-ironic hatred.” It says: “The unindoctrinated should not be able to tell if we are joking or not.”

The Christchurch manifesto justifies actual murder, but also encourages using “edgy humour and memes”. Using semi-secret, deniable signs and jokes is a way for fascists to build a wider group of friends in the broader right. So racist pranksters on the website 4Chan/pol/ promoted the idea that the “OK” hand symbol could also stand for “W.P.” or “White Power” — the circled finger and thumb forming the top of the “P,” the three loose fingers the “W.”

This gives loads of racists the chance to be “playfully” racist. Make the “OK” symbol with an ironically arched eyebrow. Should any “liberal” complain, just say they are being paranoid and it’s no more racist than a “thumbs up”. It sounds absurd but it is also sinister.

The alleged Christchurch gunman carefully posed with the “OK” sign in handcuffs, at his first court appearance. It’s a right-wing prank using the same fingers which may have been pulling the trigger and ending lives just a day before.

The manifesto also encourages the spread of racist attitudes beyond the right. The full “Great Replacement” theory is for the hard core. But anyone suggesting there are “too many” immigrants, or that they are “taking over” any part of the West is a good thing.

So the manifesto states: “The person that has influenced me above all was [Hitler whitewashing] Candace Owens” — a leading figure in pro-Trump group “Turning Point USA”. … But this is hiding Owens’s worth to the hard right in a “joke”.

Owens has often used “Great Replacement” themes, writing, for example “according to the birth rate, Europe will fall and become a Muslim majority continent by 2050” — making core fascist ideas mainstream.

Fascists being pleased about rightwingers picking up their themes is one danger. The bigger one is that conservative politicians seem keen to pick up these fascist themes. Tory politicians and right-wing media are aware that, thanks to economic stagnation, they are not attracting voters, leaving them with a smaller, ageing group of supporters. They think a dose of nationalist or racist tonic will give them a bit of zing: they are looking to the same “alt-right“ territory.

So we see “Great Replacement” themes of Muslims or other immigrants “taking over” “white territory” being mobilised across the right: “No Go” areas, “Sharia law” spreading, the Muslim “birth rate,” “invasions” by ships of migrants and so on appear throughout the Tory-supporting press and among Conservative Party “intellectuals.” We see the Tories enthused when Owens — named in the fascist manifesto — launches “Turning Point UK”,

When Boris Johnson makes crude insults about some Islamic dress making women look like “letterboxes” and “bank robbers”, he is trying to spice up the Tories’ waning appeal with racist energy. It’s disgusting, and it is also dangerous. The Tories want some of that racist oomf. It will encourage fascists and drive “official “ politics to ugly solutions.

We need to expose the link between these smaller racist arguments that Conservatives are playing with and the unattractive fascist theory behind them — this is not just casual prejudice, it is a plan by deluded, violent people who want to attack immigrants, and also think popular music is degenerate and are obsessed with how many babies people have.

We can also support New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s declaration of “As-Salaam-Alaikum” — peace-be-upon-you, and the way she has shown, directly and physically, that Muslims and all immigrants are our brothers and sisters.

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.

Christchurch massacre, and Trump’s, other politicians’, rhetoric

This 15 March 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

New Zealand Attacks: It’s Not JUST Trump

Rebel HQ’s Emma Vigeland breaks down why “white moderates“, as Martin Luther King Jr. called them, who push Islamophobic rhetoric also bear some responsibility for the anti-Muslim violence we’ve seen.

New Zealand Killer Says His Model Was Nazi-Allied British Fascist Oswald Mosley: here.

New Zealand Jews ‘Sickened, Devastated’ By Deadly Mosque Shootings: here.

New Zealand Synagogues Cancel Shabbat Services After Deadly Mosque Shooting: here.

Why Did Mass Shooting [perpetrator’s] Manifesto Cite [Trump supporter] Candace Owens, Slammed For Hitler Remarks? Here.

This 15 March 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

New Zealand Mosque Attack: After Trump’s Warning, it Got “Very Bad”

A mosque in New Zealand was attacked by Trump supporters a day after President Donald Trump issued what many are calling warning saying that it would be very bad if his supporters “Got tough”.

Is the tragedy we are seeing in New Zealand the result of Donald Trump emboldening his white supremacist base and encouraging acts of violence?

HOW FAR-RIGHT EXTREMISTS ABROAD HAVE ADOPTED MAGA “Make America Great Again” has become more than a U.S. political slogan. For Canadian white nationalist Alexandre Bissonnette — who killed six Muslim men in Quebec in 2017 — and other radical right and anti-immigrant extremists all over the world, it’s a symbol; political messaging that transcends the specifics of country and language. [HuffPost]

Nazi murderers kill 49 in Christchurch, New Zealand

This 15 March 2019 video says about itself:

New Zealand: Mourners lay flowers for Christchurch mosque shooting victims

Two vigils were set up across Christchurch on Saturday, in memory of the 49 victims of Friday’s shootings at two mosques. Mourners were seen laying flowers and messages in remembrance of those who were murdered. A total of 49 people were killed in the shootings, a further 48 were wounded.

The first report of an attack came from Masjid Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch during Friday prayers. The gunman then drove to the nearby Linwood Islamic Centre, where the second shooting occurred.

The main suspect, 28-year-old Australian Brenton Tarrant, appeared in court on Saturday charged with murder. Two more individuals have been arrested in connection with the attack. The identities of many victims have not yet been released.

By Tom Peters and John Braddock in New Zealand:

Fascist terrorists murder 49 in Christchurch, New Zealand

16 March 2019

Forty-nine people were killed and another 48 injured in a horrifying terrorist attack yesterday afternoon on two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch. The attack is by far the largest mass shooting and the most severe act of terrorism in New Zealand’s history, and one of the world’s worst in the recent period.

Seven people died at Linwood Masjid Mosque and 41 at Masjid Al Noor Mosque next to Hagley Park, near the city centre. Another person died in hospital. It is possible the death toll will rise.

Ordinary people internationally have expressed shock over the attack and sympathy with the victims. Vigils are planned in New Zealand towns and cities on Saturday night and in coming days.

Mourners outside Wellington, New Zealand mosque

Three people have been arrested in connection with the massacre. Weapons were found near each of the mosques. Police also disarmed two explosive devices found in one vehicle—an indication that further attacks might have been planned. So far, only one man has been named, 28-year-old Australian citizen Brenton Tarrant, who appeared in court today charged with murder.

The attack is a horrific crime, an act of barbarism motivated by racism and extreme right-wing ideology. It is not just a New Zealand event, but is the outcome of the rise of far-right, fascistic networks that have developed around the world, promoted and protected from the highest levels of the state apparatus. Their activities have expanded alongside the rapid escalation of the international class struggle and desperate moves by the ruling elites to suppress opposition by eviscerating basic democratic rights.

Tarrant drew his inspiration from, and had a definite audience among, far-right, anti-immigrant groups internationally. Video footage of the Al Noor Mosque attack was broadcast live on Facebook and YouTube, apparently from a camera mounted on Tarrant’s head. The footage, since taken down, shows the gunman driving to the mosque, entering the building and carrying out his cold-blooded and systematic massacre. Defenceless victims, including small children, had little chance of escaping the hail of bullets from the assault rifle.

Although many details are not yet known, it is clear that this was not a random or “senseless” action. According to a 73-page “manifesto” published by Tarrant online, he spent two years planning the attack after spending some time living in Europe.

Entitled “The Great Replacement”, the manifesto makes clear that Tarrant was a white supremacist and considered himself a “fascist”. The document praised mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik, who killed dozens of young people and children at a Norwegian Labour Party camp in 2011, motivated by anti-Islamist prejudice. Tarrant claimed to have had “brief contact” with Breivik and to have received his “blessing” for the New Zealand attack.

Just last month, US authorities arrested a Coast Guard Lieutenant, Christopher Paul Hasson, who was plotting to carry out terrorist attacks against socialist groups, Democratic Party politicians and media personalities. Hasson is a neo-Nazi who also proclaims Breivik as his idol.

Tarrant hailed US President Donald Trump as “a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.” Like Trump, Tarrant described immigrants as “invaders”, stating: “We must crush immigration and deport those invaders already living on our soil.”

The shooter also threatened leftists. A passage headlined “to Antifa/Marxists/Communists” stated: “I want you in my sights. I want your neck under my boot.” On March 12, Tarrant posted numerous photos on Twitter of his assault rifle, covered in written messages, including references to Josué Estébanez, a neo-Nazi who murdered a teenage anarchist in Spain in 2007. Another slogan is “Vienna 1683” ,which references the armed repulsion of Ottoman invaders by Austrian militias.

Astonishingly, NZ Police Commissioner Mike Bush claimed that neither New Zealand nor Australian police, or any other agencies, had any prior knowledge of Tarrant or the other people arrested. They were not, apparently, on any extremist “watch lists.” If this is true, it underscores the fact that the state authorities have turned a blind eye to, and are complicit in, the activities of the far-right networks.

No explanation has been given as to how such an attack could be planned for years without coming to the attention of police. Questions are also being raised about how the attackers acquired their weapons. New Zealand has no gun register and there are 1.3 million legally-owned weapons, in a country of just under 5 million people.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern stated in a press conference on Friday evening that New Zealand was “not chosen for this act of violence because we condone racism, because we are an enclave for extremism. We were chosen for the very fact that we are none of those things. Because we represent diversity, kindness, compassion.”

In fact, the attack took place in a definite domestic and international political context characterised by imperialist violence and increasing nationalism, xenophobia and racism. It follows almost two decades of New Zealand and Australian participation in US-led wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, which have killed more than a million people. Troops from New Zealand and Australia have been implicated in multiple massacres and atrocities against civilians in Afghanistan.

Under deteriorating social conditions, growing inequality and poverty, there has been a definite move to foster the creation of an “alt-right” movement in NZ. It is designed to confront the growing radicalisation of the working class and youth.

The atrocity in New Zealand follows not only the mass murder committed by Breivik in Norway, but the 2012 murders carried out by fascists at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin in 2012 and at a Jewish care home in Overland Park, Kansas in 2014; the 2015 massacre of African-American worshippers in Charleston, South Carolina; the 2016 murder of British Labour politician Jo Cox; the 2017 killing of nine people at a mosque in Quebec City, Canada; and the murder in 2018 of 11 Jewish worshippers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania—to name only some of the right-wing acts of terrorism.

Echoing the recent assault on British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, NZ Green Party leader James Shaw was attacked in a Wellington street last Thursday, by an individual shouting slogans against the United Nations. The assailant may well have been motivated by recent protests by far-right groups against New Zealand signing the UN Migration Compact.

Anti-Islamic sentiment has been deliberately stoked by politicians in Australia and New Zealand. Australia’s extreme right-wing Independent Senator Fraser Anning issued a fascistic press release blaming the Christchurch massacre on the victims themselves. He described Muslim immigration as the “real cause” of the attack. Anning recently attended a rally at St Kilda Beach organised by prominent Australian neo-Nazis.

At her first press conference on Friday evening, Ardern declared that “there is no place in New Zealand” for purveyors of “hate”. However, Ardern has embraced, and brought into the very centre of her government, the racist and populist

Stop abusing the word ‘populist’.

NZ First Party, which was founded in the early 1990s on an explicit anti-Asian, anti-immigrant platform.

NZ First, which is a partner in the Labour-led coalition government, is a notorious spreader of anti-Muslim xenophobia. Despite receiving just 7.2 percent of the votes in 2017, NZ First was given the roles of foreign minister, defence minister and deputy prime minister.

Following the June 2017 London terror attacks, NZ First leader Winston Peters demanded in parliament that New Zealand’s “Islamic community” “clean house” by naming potential terrorists in “their own families”. Without producing any evidence of such extremism, Peters denounced the “twisted spirit of inclusiveness” that accommodated “the culture of Damascus” and “Tripoli” in New Zealand. He declared: “We must avoid the same politically correct trap that has allowed such communities apart to form… We must stop the slide as a people, as a culture in the West.”

Last year, NZ First called for a “New Zealand values test” to be administered to new immigrants, clearly a dog-whistle aimed against Muslims and Asian migrants. Peters said it would stop migrants who believe “women are cattle and second-class citizens.” Another NZ First member, Roger Melville, declared that people from “Pakistan, Indians and some Asian-type nations” were “forcing their ways on others.”

The Christchurch attack provides a deadly warning about the dangers ahead. An atmosphere of toxic nationalism, militarism and anti-immigrant xenophobia is being whipped up internationally, providing the basis for the re-emergence of fascism as capitalism lurches into its greatest crisis since the 1930s. It must be answered by the building of an international, socialist movement, unifying the working class of all countries in the struggle to end capitalism and the fascist reaction it has spawned.