Politics around the world has been changing dramatically. Extreme right has risen into the power throughout the globe from the Donald Trump of US (2016) to Rodrigo Duterte of Philippines (2016) and from Victor Orban of Hungary (2010) to Jair Bolsanaro of Brazil (2019). Rise of extreme right is posing severe threat to the democratic values like Liberty, Equality, Justice, Plurality, Inclusiveness, and Tolerance and with the emergence of extreme right; ideologies like Chauvinism, Xenophobia, Misogynism and Islamophobia have raised their heads.
The recent ghastly and disgusting Christchurch terrorist attack on two mosques in New Zealand, in which 50 Muslims were killed and several were injured is the sheer case of Islamophobia. He live-streamed his terrorist attack on Facebook, playing American Civil war music in the background and had justified attack by publishing his manifesto earlier. The semi-automatic gun which the terrorist had used was inscripted with islamobhobic and right wing ideology. Nothing is more anxious then this even after the terrible attack leaders of the right-wing didn’t speak against the attack and the international media which immediately swings into the action, start spewing venom against the whole Muslim community; if the attacker belongs to the same community had called Christchurch terrorist a shooter. Terrorism is terrorism, it is against the humanity, no religion, race, caste and region has monopoly on it. It should be condemned in its stickiest form no matter who is instigating it.
The organised violence against the Muslims all over the globe is being done in the facade of Islamophobia. The propagators and preachers of Islamophobia are not much sacred of from the terror of any person but their actual fear is; Islam has the capability to influence minds of the people and if it would not be contained, it would spread in the western world very swiftly. British political philosopher David Selbourne “Losing Battle with Islam” enumerated ten reasons and he argues because of these reasons now it is very tough for the western world to win battle from the Islam. Similarly, French writer Micheal Houellebecq in his novel “Submission” argues that in the upcoming seven years France would have Islamist government with the support of Socialist Party. These books have posed the strong impression on the minds of western policy makers and due to these fear anti-muslims policies are being framed in the western world. In this whole well framed propaganda, international media plays an indispensible role in adding fuel to the fire. A hoax is being created round the globe that Muslims are the common enemy and they are the real threat for the peace. But reality is quite contrary to this, for a moment, let us ask ourselves, who are the leading manufacturers and exporters of the arms and which country dropped Mother of all Bombs on Afghanistan. None of the Muslim-dominated country tops the list in terms of annual defence budget expenditure. Moreover, 2011 report of the US government’s National Counter-terrorism Centre (NCTC), said that “In cases where the religious affiliation of terrorism casualties could be determined, Muslims suffered between 82 and 97% of terrorism-related fatalities over the past five years.” Question which needs to be pondered upon is if Muslim countries are the worst sufferer of terrorism then why Islamophobia? Irony is, terrorism killed less people around the world than “War on terror”.
We never heard when Christian- terrorist killed worshippers in the Masjid and media never called him a Christian-terrorist, when Buddhist-terrorist killed Rohingyas in Myanmar and media never called him a Buddhist-terrorist , When Jewish-terrorist killed Palestinian in Palestine media never called him a Jewish-terrorist. Why religion is deliberatively affixed to the Muslim terrorist only? This is how international media creates vicious design against the Muslims and project them as a common enemy for the world.
Indiscriminately, incident like Christchurch terror attack must be vehemently criticised by all leaders of the world and onus goes to the international media to call spade a spade, they should show what reality is without manipulation. Solidarity of the New Zealand’s Prime minister, public and international community is appreciable. The solidarity which Jacinda Ardern showed with the Christchurch victims is worth-appreciating and she gave a beautiful lesson for all the leaders of the world. But it is not just about to criticise one particular terror attack and after sometimes everything will be normal. It is high time to criticise all the terror attacks explicitly and simultaneously international media has to demystify the hoax which is being created against the Muslim community. Silence of the world leaders and media gives impunity to the terrorist to carry out such types of inhumane attacks in broad daylight. If the deadliest attacks like Christchurch will not be condemned unequivocally round the globe on time, then there is no chance to stop these attacks in future.
Zulafqar Ahmed is Doctorate Fellow at the Department of Political Science, Aligarh Muslim University, E- mail [email protected]