Letters and Editorials 1266 Views by J. Paul Nadeau

The war on terrorism will not be won with bullets or bombs

The world is mourning – sadly, once again. This time because of a man who calls himself a ‘patriot’ – a far right white extremist. What he did in New Zealand just a few days ago was an act of terrorism, plain and simple; but it was much more than that, too. The attack was designed to shock and reach as many people as he could, accomplishing that through social media and a lengthy manifesto he published, all of which was calculated to spread the message of hate that underpinned his attacks – and all of which was done in an effort to have other right-wing extremists across the globe follow his lead. It appears to have worked. Another terrorist attack immediately followed yesterday on a tram in the Netherlands that has left at least three people dead and five wounded. When will this all end?

Far-right extremists are a force of evil to be reckoned with, and they must be seriously considered as one of the new major terrorist organizations to threaten our peace, globally.High profile attacks like this are not only meant to cause shock and fear throughout the globe, they’re meant to spread a message of hate and recruit others to do the very same. This is why so many extra patrols have been active around mosques since the attack. All this strikes an ugly resemblance to ISIS, doesn’t it?

Right-wing terrorism is terrorism motivated by a variety of far-right ideologies and beliefs, including anti-communism, neo-fascism, neo-Nazism, racism, xenophobia and opposition to immigration. I’m not going to get into what that all means, except to say that it comes down to a select group of white folks who think they’re better and more worthy than any other race. They consider themselves privileged and above everyone else who’s color of skin is not white, and that somehow white people are the “chosen” race. It saddens me beyond words when I think of all the violence across the globe in the name of hatred and prejudice, whether it be terrorism, religiously motivated attacks, sexually motivated attacks such as ICEL, and so on. Hatred is hatred and violence is violence. The scale of the horror committed in New Zealand by this anti-Muslim/anti-Immigrant far-right extremist and all other such attacks across the world must end, but sadly, we know it won’t any time soon, if ever, and so we must each do our part to try to make the world a safer, better place.

The war on terrorism - and now on right-wing terrorism - will not be won with bullets or bombs. It will be won by how many of us stand up against these acts of hatred; by how many of us petition our law-makers to hand down even stiffer penalties when hate crimes are committed; it will be won by remaining true to the virtues that live within each and every one of us: those virtues of love, compassion, dignity, respect, accountability and brotherhood.

What can we do? Speak out whenever we hear someone treat another disrespectfully through hate motivated verbal bashings. Step in and help the person under attack when we witness those acts motivated by hatred or alert authorities immediately. No, you don’t need to put yourself in danger – maybe just start talking with the victim to distract the offender. Treat each other the way we’d like to be treated despite race, religious beliefs or customs. Remember, we are, after all, all part of the same race: the human race. And we were all born out of Africa. It’s time we began to behave like family.


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