TORONTO, CANADA: I was shocked, but not surprised, to learn about the mosque attacks in New Zealand, especially since the hatred against Muslims and immigrants has gained momentum and is growing like wildfire. These sentiments have been normalised through mainstream media, to the point that a hate-monger and an acrimonious personality like Trump has become the leader of the most powerful nation in the world.
Had Trump been a Muslim or a brown person, he would have faced strict action by the authorities for spreading hate speech and racism. Perhaps he would not have even dared to speak like this in the public, let alone contest an election, as he would have been aware of the limited ‘liberty’ his race and religion would grant him. However, as a white person speaking against other races and religions, the media and politicians have condoned and encouraged him by treating him like a funny caricature, while in reality, nothing he says or does is funny, but is rather dangerous.
Opportunistic politicians such as Trump have been manipulating their followers to win elections. They do not provide any solutions to the problems faced by their people such as unemployment, and instead bank on fear to win votes. They create fear of the unknown, fear of the migrant caravan and fear of the brown immigrant whose aim is to take over the white man’s land, while they forget that the white man is the one who took over the land from native Americans in the first place. As a result, their prejudiced supporters feel encouraged to hurl abuses at and hurt those who do not look like them.
My heart and prayers go to the victims of these heinous crimes, especially in the city of Christchurch.
May voices of insanity never prevail! May humanity reject those who intend to divide us! May peace, understanding and love prevail! And most importantly, may humanity reestablish justice in our volatile world!
Abubakar N Kasim
Published in The Express Tribune, March 17th, 2019.