By Rooholamin Saeidi 

Reproduction of racism in the West

April 23, 2019

TEHRAN - The terrorist attack which took place in New Zealand was a tragedy that unfortunately has been epidemic in the world and we witness different examples of it all over the globe occasionally. But once again it revealed the hypocritical, discriminatory and unfair Western governments’ treatment of other nations.

 Without a doubt, if such an attack had happened in a Western country or if the lifeless bodies in those two mosques had belonged to the Europeans or the Christians, Western politicians would have reacted more firmly and decisively. But since those innocent people who were killed in Christchurch were Muslims, Western politicians and western media just expressed cold condolences and tried to ignore the incident.

 They even intentionally refrained from referring to it as a terrorist attack because from their viewpoints, terrorism is only associated with Islam and Muslim Jihadists. No one will forget that many of world leaders participated side by side in the Rally for unity against terrorism in Paris after those bloody terrorist attacks in 2015 among them was Netanyahu whose government is a real perpetrator of State terrorism.

Taking the Christchurch tragedy into consideration, we should admit regretfully that even in the 21st century the life of people who live in developed western countries seem more valuable and more precious than those of others. For example, the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was represented as a catastrophe by western media so public opinions all over the world, especially in western countries, paid remarkable attention to it.

 But no one sympathizes with Yemeni people who have been killed innocently since Saudi Arabia attacked their homeland and those children who are starving to death! So it seems that the public conscience in the West awakens selectively and it is indicative to the fact that the West still tends to marginalize the poor people of the global south and disregard them. Perhaps what the suffering of the Yemeni people illustrates more than anything is that humanitarian action is always overshadowed by power politics and political interests.

This arrogant attitude stems from colonial period which has long-lasting implications for post-colonial era. In a post-colonial era that we are experiencing nowadays, great powers try to continue and justify the military and economic subordination of the global south by powerful western interests and global hierarchies of domination and subordination, past and present, are made possible through the social construction of racial, gendered and class differences.

 We can make sense of Islamophobia clearly in this framework. In the post-colonial era we are witnessing the continuity and persistence of colonial forms of power and control. So although the era of formal colonial imposition by force of arms is largely over, the systematic inequality still persist on a global scale.

 Such terrorist attacks as we saw in New Zealand done by western extremists, prove that modern school of thoughts like liberalism have failed miserably to eradicate racism, extremism, violence, and religious intolerance although they have claimed to do so. Western governments by adopting contradictory policies and double standards not only pave the way for creating, nurturing and arming terrorist groups like ISIS but also spread the sense of hatred, violence and racial supremacy in their own societies.

 We should bear in mind that the cruel terrorist who invaded the two mosques and killed more than 50 innocent Muslims cold-bloodedly, has been raised in western societies where citizens are constantly deluged with messages against Islam and Muslims. So when the old policy of spreading “phobia” and hatred has targeted Islam and Muslims with unprecedented intensity, it is not strange that we witness such barbaric killings. It seems that as long as power politics dominates international system, perpetual peace and security will be unachievable. 

In contrast to western schools of thoughts, Islam preaches equality, justice, unity and brotherhood. The Quran says: O’ mankind we created you from a single pare of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes that you may know each other. It says let there be no compulsion in religion.

It is exactly on the basis of such inclusive Islamic rules and norms that we see in Arba'een Pilgrimage millions of people gather annually from all over the world with different races, religions, colors, gender or social class and they practice living in a transnational society. Another example was the war against ISIS in Syria and Iraq where many Muslim fighters from different nations gathered and stood shoulder to shoulder to establish a transnational army which defeated ISIS and could release the two occupied countries. 

That is why western politicians or extremists and racists fear Islam so much as the fastest growing religion in the world because the allure of Islam is attracting many people all over the world even in secular European countries. For example France, the E.U.’s most stridently secular state facing Western Europe’s largest Muslim population, has proved to be the most difficult national case. It is interesting that bobby Said pays attention to this fear in his book “A Fundamental Fear: Eurocentrism and Emergence of Islamism” and writes:
The idea that the Islamic resurgence represents a return of the repressed does not take only a political form. At a more diffuse level, the Islamic revival signals cultural anxiety in the West. The West sees in Islam the distorted mirror of its own past. It marks the rebirth of the God they had killed so that Man could live. The Islamic resurgence marks the revenge of God; it signals the return of faith, the return of all that puts into questions the idea of the progressive liberation of humanity. 

As a conclusion, the return and resurgence of political Islam is an undeniable reality and the Christchurch attack can be conceived as a response to it. But the resurgence of Islam and its growth can be considered as a menace and threat only to power-hungry politicians and racists because of invite and embrace warmly all open-minded people with different ideas from all over the world.
 

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