By Mano Ratwatte –
This issue of global terrorism-Jihadi Islamic Terrorism-White Supremacist terrorism are all complex issues. A one-sided bashing of just one incident while deliberately ignoring other forms of terrorism is wrong and is not a balanced rational argument.
In general, terrorism is classified as the use of violence or threat of violence in the pursuit of political, religious, ideological or social objectives. It can be committed by non-state actors or undercover personnel serving on the behalf of their respective governments.
The horrible racist massacre of innocent Muslim residents by a savage in Christchurch must be condemned unequivocally. The Prime Minister of New Zealand showed great leadership and courage with her words. PM Ardern said the following:
“There is no place in New Zealand for such acts of extreme and unprecedented violence,” Of the alleged perpetrators, she said: “These are people that I would describe as having extremist views, that have absolutely no place in New Zealand and in fact have no place in the world.”
She also said that the terrorist savage chose New Zealand because it a tolerant nation. “We represent diversity, kindness, compassion. A home for those who share our values. Refuge for those who need it,” she told reporters at Parliament as the horror of the shootings began to unfold on Friday, her words broadcast around the world even as the killer’s video and manifesto of hatred were spreading online.
Ms. Ardern herself had been emailed a copy of the manifesto minutes before the massacre began.
“You may have chosen us,” she said of the gunman, “but we utterly reject and condemn you.” How true. Same is true for other vile Jihadi terrorist attacks as well and supremacist racist attacks around the world too.
PM Ardern has shown true leadership highlighting the tolerant accepting nature of a western mostly Christian society.
Sadly, the US President, and his government revealed his cards by being so mute about this terrorist savage’s massacre of innocent Muslims because it did not fit his agenda. It was a relief to hear the PM of the peaceful safe nation speak out on behalf of all victims.
A lot of time, people select, in a very convenient manner only to attack one kind of terrorist attack and remain silent and not write about the other terrorist attacks.
Highlight some recent terrorist attacks of a similar evil kind but for different ideologies:
A. A Demented Jihadi savage(this white man in New Zealand was a savage terrorist ) mowed down 86 people in Nice France in 2016. France is another western nation that has seen a rapid influx of immigrants of different ethnic groups and going through serious adjustments.
B. In 2017, in Manchester, 22 young people attending an Ariana Grande concerted were killed by a terrorist. Was their sin attending a concert because the radical jihadi Taleban types do not approve western music?
C. In London, near Westminster 6 people were killed by a terrorist.
D. In the USA, an American security guard named Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old, killed 49 people and wounded 53 others . His parents were immigrants who were welcomed into the US from Afghanistan.
E. In San Bernadino, California, a terrorist woman (who took advantage of US’s immigration policies to marry someone she befriended the internet and came over on a Fiancee visa without proper background check) and her husband killed 14 people in 2015.
F. In 2016, a truck was deliberately driven into the Christmas market next to the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church at Breitscheidplatz in Berlin, leaving 12 people dead and 56 others injured. The terrorist was a Tunisian asylum seeker inspired by ISIS.
G. In Paris in 2015 in a series of coordinated attacks over 137 people were killed by terrorists.
People who do not condone these sort of politically motivated acts of mass violence should not selectively criticize, and condemn one kind of terrorist attack by passing blame onto one side only. ISIS has raped, beheaded and burnt alive people in Iraq and Syria. They raped and murdered Yazidis and fellow Muslims who happened to be Shia because that did not fit their definition of who a religious person should be. And similar state actors in Syria have also committed heinous acts. But ISIS and Al-Qaeda who believe that their path is the true path have committed unspeakable savagery.
Now this is not the place to talk about how Islamic Jihadi terrorism became worse a result of the foolish invasion of Iraq(it did ; and people including this writer a simpleton predicted exactly what would happen. Where there were no Islamic terrorist groups, suddenly became recruiting grounds for Al Qaeda; and ISIS Jihadi group recruitment numbers skyrocketed as a result of that foolish invasion), but one cannot just blame and point finger selectively without proof and make statements about one kind of terrorism without condemning other kinds of terrorism.
Sri Lanka underwent politically motivated terrorism of two type at the hands of the LTTE (and JVP) with counter terror by the government:
a. targeted attacks on military and political leaders.
b. deliberate LTTE attacks on civilians at religious places(Anuradhapura, Kattankudy etc.,) to provoke people to react against innocent Tamil people like how the foolish gory savage terrorist Black July was committed in 1983. That single incident of state related violence is a reason the LTTE grew to be formidable force viewed as been the defenders of Tamil people. Their recruitment numbers increased as a result. JVP targeted government officials families of servicemen and women, and also a relative of this writer; he was burnt alive. Another person connected by marriage was shot dead by the JVP in front of his family because he raised the flag on the government estate. The much beloved Vijaya Kumaranatunge, a moderate humanist was murdered because of hatred by Wijeweera. Are those acts of political terrorism like killing of journalists (including Sri Lanka) across the world?
Recent White Supremacist terrorism.
1. One cannot also ignore so many other white racist terrorist attacks such as the one in Norway in 2011, which ended with 77 deaths by one savage terrorist.
2. In US, a savage demented terrorist killed 9 innocent church going black people in Charleston at a historical black church hoping to start a race war in 2015.
3. In 2015, another white extremist terrorist killed 6 Sikhs in a Gurdwara in Wisconsin.
4. A hateful Anti-semitic white Christian massacred eleven people in a Synagogue(Jewish temple) in Pittsburgh shooting in October, 2018, while Shabbat morning services were being held.
In those terrorist massacres which occurred in the USA, during President Obama’s tenure, he really showed real leadership, empathy and compassion to the victims and their families. Unlike Trump, Obama did not deliberately try to minimize the growing global rightwing white supremacist extremist movement. But ironically, during his tenure, more civilians died in Drone attacks in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan; those are called “collateral damage” than during Bush’s two terms. This sort of attack result in more people joining extremist/terrorist groups.
Now racist white supremacists and neo-nazis are emboldened and feel empowered because of the total lack of empathy with victims in attacks by Neo Nazis by the current president. It is a frightening new development for all recent immigrants; yet the vast majority of Americans are welcoming and tolerant of other faiths despite the growing number of right-wing hate groups.
Some people just hysterically decide to bash the US and Israel for every attack. If the US is that terrible, how is that almost every large Metropolis/ city has large immigrant Muslim populations and Halal Food stores and even the Universities provide mosques and prayer facilities for Muslim students? It even elected two American women who happen to be Muslim to Congress recently.
One must be unequivocal in condemning all attacks just as well as condemning growing number of civilian casualties in places like Yemen where Saudi Arabia has been found to be the biggest culprit causing civilian casualties using American made weapons. US foreign policy is so hypocritical in its orchestrated outrage it is no longer funny. On March 19th, American Strongman Trump went on TV talking about the suffering in Venezuela; but neither he nor the top leadership in the current regime have openly criticized the far worse humanitarian tragedy in Yemen(neither has Britain) unleashed by fellow Arab Muslims on fellow Arabs because of a pathetic ideological tussle between Iran-Shia vs Saudi Arabia-Sunni disagreements. Both sides are engaging a proxy war to establish ideological supremacy. Can’t blame Jews for that.
The world, ethnic dynamics, and the ideologies that create terrorism are far too complex to simply blame Jews, LTTE, Khalistanis, Kashmiris, or Israel and US for every terrorist attack. Governments from Sri Lanka to US to Israel must also be cognizant of the factors that contribute to terrorism. Real Experts will discuss those factors till kingdom come and nothing will change.