Stop the spread of hatred


CITIZENS International strongly condemns the brutal killing of over 40 Muslims in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, by white supremacist terrorists. We express our deepest condolences to the families of the victims of this ghastly murder and pray that God showers His blessings on their departed souls. We also pray for the early recovery of those wounded in the attack.

Islamophobic political leaders like US President Donald Trump and Britain’s former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson (as well as large parts of the Western media that are purveyors of a hate campaign against Muslims and Islam) must be held responsible for this cowardly killing of worshippers. The hypocritical condemnation by these leaders of the vile act and their expressions of condolences will not wash away the blood on their hands.

White supremacists see Trump as their leader and inspiration. The Australia-born murderer published a 74-page dossier hailing Trump as “a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose”. Islamophobia is no longer just on the fringes but has moved to the centre of several Western governments.

Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton was once the chairman of Gatestone Institute that, according to a NBC report, “promotes misleading and false anti-Muslim news”. During his chairmanship of the institute, it warned of a looming “jihadist takeover” of Europe leading to a “Great White Death”.

Trump’s administration has pursued an anti-Muslim policy. During his election campaign Trump appealed to white supremacists by saying, “I think Islam hates us” (during an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper). He has banned immigration from Muslim countries and sharply cut the entry of Muslim refugees into the United States.

White supremacists have an informal international network to carry out anti-Muslim campaigns. An investigation last year by British newspaper The Guardian revealed that the British founder of the fascist English Defence League, Tommy Robinson – who is an anti-Muslim campaigner – has been receiving financial, political and moral support from a broad array of non-British groups and individuals, including US think-tanks, right wing Australians and Russian trolls. Among them are

the Middle East Forum, David Horowitz Freedom Center and the Gatestone Institute, all of them preaching lies and hatred against Muslims and Islam. (“Revealed: the hidden global network behind Tommy Robinson”, The Guardian, Dec 7, 2018.)

Western governments have taken no action against individuals, think-tanks and media that are inciting hatred against Muslims. They consider the incitement to hatred which could lead to violence against Muslims as exercising freedom of expression, but criminalise peaceful boycotts against Israel and any criticism of Zionism. Their failure to take action against these merchants of hatred amounts to encouraging hostility towards Islam and Muslims that results in violence against them.

With the exception of one or two Muslim governments, the others have not come out to condemn those responsible for encouraging the white supremacist campaign against Muslims. Except for verbal condemnation of the crime, none has said anything about the responsibility the United States

and Islamophobic European governments hold for allowing a climate of hatred against Muslims and Islam to flourish in their countries.

We call on the Malaysian government to:

1. Issue a strong statement against those responsible for the culture of hatred against Muslims and Islam prevailing in the world today that has led to this and other mass murder incidents.

2. Call for an urgent meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to discuss the Christchurch killings and the underlying causes and to formulate a plan to counter the propagation of hatred against Muslims and Islam.

3. Initiate action in the United Nations to stop the propagation of Islamophobia.

S.M. MOHAMED IDRIS

Chairman, Citizens International

hatred