Extreme hatred comes in all types of people

By : 
DAVID PHILLIPS
Reflections from my Notebook

"Hello, brother. Welcome."

Those were the final words of Daoud Nabi, a 71-year-old worshipping at a New Zealand mosque Friday. The warm welcome was directed at the man alleged to have killed him and 49 other Muslims in a terrorist rampage that shocked the world.

The scenario in New Zealand flips the narrative too many people believe — that all Muslims are violent terrorists who want to extract revenge on peaceful Westerners because they hate Western civilization. Instead, Muslims were the welcoming voice to the outsider who turned his guns on them in a bloody rampage that was somehow justified by his warped beliefs.

• The reason we know the last words of Nabi is because the attack was live-streamed on social media.

Social media had high hopes of connecting us, yet platforms, such as Facebook, expose the dark side of many “friends” who share bigotry and hatred of obviously false posts. The instant, unfiltered communications reveals that we haven’t made as much progress in racial harmony as we would like to believe.

For those already on the edges of society, social media further isolates them as they find community in a small number of like-minded haters who find comfort in extremism. The logical conclusion is taking followers along on a “live,” murderous shooting spree that seems heroic in the twisted mind of the perpetrator.

• The rise of white supremacy isn’t a minor threat committed by just a few people.

Shooting sprees by white supremacists or anti-Semitic gunmen occurred at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina, Tree of Life synagogue in Pennsylvania and a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. More deaths could have occurred if domestic terrorism plotted by a well-armed white nationalist in the Coast Guard hadn’t been thwarted by federal officials.

Data analyzed by the Anti-Defamation League over the last decade shows 73.3 percent of all domestic extremist-related killings have been perpetrated by right-wing extremists, compared to 23.4 percent perpetrated by terrorists motivated by Salafi-jihadism and 3.2 percent by left-wing extremism.

• Hate crimes really are becoming more common.

The rise in hate crimes has been previously reported, but many people laugh it off as political correctness gone amuck, claiming elites have expanded the definition to include every little offense while the complicit news media has amplified the “fake” news.

However, the Department of Justice confirms that hate crimes are increasing in the United States. The same is happening in Minnesota where police agencies reported 48 anti-black hate crimes in the state last year, 21 anti-white, 21 hate crimes motivated by a bias against the LGBTQ community, 16 anti-Jewish and 10 anti-Muslim crimes, according to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

• Violent hate crimes have occurred right here in Minnesota.

Three Illinois men have been accused of bombing a Bloomington mosque before morning prayers in 2017. They appeared in court in January in front of Judge Donovan Frank, a Spring Valley native, and are awaiting sentencing.

The three, aligned with a violent, white supremacist militia, claimed they didn’t intend to kill anyone, instead wanting to scare Muslims to leave the country. However, the previous year, a man in Minneapolis shot two Muslim men near a mosque while shouting anti-Muslim epithets.

• Small towns aren’t immune to the hatred.

The men involved in the mosque bombing in Bloomington are from Clarence, Illinois, a small, unincorporated town of fewer than 100 residents surrounded by corn fields. It would seem their neighbors must have known something wasn’t right as the men weren’t always discreet about their racist views, displaying confederate flags and spouting radical diatribes.

Their link to domestic terrorism was discovered when someone, who would later become an informant, heard racial slurs in casual conversation and noticed bomb-making materials stored in a suspect’s house.

• White supremacists aren’t just a small group that will go away.

White supremacists are rapidly increasing their recruitment and visibility. Anti-Defamation League data shows white supremacists’ propaganda efforts increased 182 percent, with 1,187 distributions across the United States in 2018, up from 421 total incidents reported in 2017.

Their symbols and talking points are showing up in public by unexpected accomplices, including government officials who use white nationalist phrases and students who display Nazi salutes.

• "Hello, brother. Welcome."

Those words are what should endure from the massacre in New Zealand. Hatred and violence aren’t going away, but neither should that welcoming spirit.

All people, whether they are Muslim or Christian, black or white, right wing or left wing, appear foreign or look just like us, are capable of extreme hate. All people are also capable of extreme love.

Instead of applying a broad stroke to all people — identifying large groups as something less than human and enemies of the world — people need to call out intolerance in individuals when they see it, counter hate with love and replace exclusion with inclusion.

People need to stand with their “brother” and welcome others who may not look, believe or act anything like they do.

 

Comments

You never hear about 13,000 churches that were burned through out world or the 10s of thousands of poeple they murderded. That man was not a white supremacist,more fake news