By Mohan J.Dutta
17 March, 2019
The shootings carried out by right wing
White extremists in Christchurch are part of a global network of racist terror
that are often legitimized, sponsored, and reproduced by the structures of the
The manifesto crafted by one of the White
terrorists who carried out the terror makes reference to the U.S. President
Donald Trump and draws on the hate propaganda that is a key element of U.S.
Islamophobia, the fear of the Muslim, is
strategically manufactured through various forms of messages of hatred,
legitimized and reproduced by the media, and manipulated by parties toward
The Globalization of the Islamophobia
The Islamophobia industry is big business.
The New Zealand shootings depict the wide reach of the industry and its global
From the transnational corporations feeding
the “war on terror” to the digital media industries that profit from selling
the hatred of Muslims to think tanks that are set up to cultivate strategically
the fear of the Muslim, Islamophobia generates ratings, advertising dollars,
and new markets for products of hatred.
Although projected as the work of the
fringe right, the power of Islamophobia lies in seeding the hatred for Islam as
a mainstream phenomenon, as a part and parcel of everyday civil discourse.
Digital platforms such as Swarajya Mag in
India, and Centres such as the Centre for Security Policy in the U.S. are
established with the sole purpose of making mainstream the hatred for Islam
through the circulation of the image of the Muslim invader that is antithetical
to the ideas of civilization.
Propaganda Narratives from U.S. To India
The narrative of the “civilization in threat”
is strategically disseminated across spaces to seed and amplify Islamophobia.
The manifesto circulated by the White supremacist terrorist in New Zealand is
essentially anchored in the rhetoric of “White genocide.”
In the U.S., groups such as ACT for America
led by Brigette Gabriel organize communities at the grassroots around the
hatred for Islam, manufacturing the threat of the Muslim “other.” Setting up
false narratives such as the “threat of Sharia law,” with over 750,000 members
across the U.S., the organization positions itself as a national security
organization, drawing up accounts of unwed Muslim migrant and refugee men who
threaten White civilisational purity. Brigette Gabriel draws out links between
the influx of Muslim refugees and the threat of rape, manufacturing the basis
for the threat of “White genocide.”
In the White terrorist manifesto in New
Zealand, the propaganda of “White genocide” is set up by comparing the
fertility rates of White Europeans with fertility rates of communities of
The global seduction of the narrative of
Islamic rape culture is well evident in India in the Hindutva propaganda
The “love jihad” narrative similarly
manufactures a false account of Islamic rape culture, positioning Muslims as
threatening the purity of Hindu culture. The narrative of Hindu genocide
becomes the basis for manufacturing and circulating the threat of the Islamic
invader, then being mobilized by the Hindutva forces in India to carry out
systematic acts of violence.
The Zionist propaganda machinery produces
the image and narrative of the Muslim other to silence any critique of its
settler colonialism, occupation and apartheid policies toward Palestinians. A
large proportion of the funding of the Islamophobia industry comes from Zionist
Islamophobic Responses in India
The Islamophobia that is rampant in India
prompts a cross-section of Hindutva forces to celebrate the attacks on the
mosques in Christchurch.
For these Hindutva forces, the attack on
the mosques is the appropriate and necessary response to the manufactured
thread of Islamic terror.
Heuristically driven and devoid of
evidence, these jubilations of the attack on the Muslims entirely miss out that
the manifesto called for removing all coloured people (including Indians of all
faiths) from what the terrorist articulation framed as White lands (of course
ignoring the claims to land in New Zealand held by indigenous Maori). People of
colour bear the burden of racisms that generate from White supremacy; Muslims
bear this burden as attacks on their ethnicity as well amplified by the
demonization of their faith.
The celebration of violence by Hindutva
terror, although somewhat different in its framing and targeting of the other
from the White supremacist terror, is a replica of White supremacist terror in
its strategic deployment of violence to target Muslim minorities. Since 2015,
at least 44 Muslims have been killed in India by cow vigilantes, driven by the
narrative of civilisational threat.
For A Global Civilisational Response
That terror has no place in civilized
societies is the message that ought to form the basis for global response. In
her bold and powerful speech following the terrorist attack, the Prime Minister
of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern issued this clarion call for zero tolerance of
hatred by stating that the haters have no place in New Zealand society.
Across the globe, the fabrics of civilized
secular societies are threatened by the politics of hate and fear mongering,
legitimized through political parties and electoral processes. These political
parties that operate on the circulation of hate need to be targeted
strategically and their machineries of hate dismantled.
The global machine of Islamophobia ought to
be dismantled by a civilisational narrative of love, understanding and
dialogue, with the fundamental commitment to fostering spaces for diverse
voices, peoples, worldviews and faith traditions.
In India, dismantling the hate apparatuses
of the RSS and BJP are the urgent calls of the hour. In civilized societies
such as in New Zealand and Singapore, diaspora groups that operate on the
circulation of hate have no place. Identifying, categorizing and dismantling
such groups is as important as it is to opening up calls for dialogue.
Hate, White supremacist hate and Hindu hate
need to be stopped before they consume the discursive spheres of civilized
Mohan J Dutta is Dean's Chair Professor of Communication at Massey
University, University of New Zealand. He is the Director of the Centre for
Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE), developing
culturally-centred, community-based projects of social change, advocacy, and
activism that articulate health as a human right.