News Release

Anti-Muslim Terrorism

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newsrelease16The Washington Post reports, “A van plowed into a group of Muslim worshipers as they were leaving prayers at a pair of north London mosques early Monday, leaving one person dead and injuring 10 others in what is being called a ‘terrorist attack.’ Witnesses said the driver of the vehicle was heard shouting that he wanted to kill Muslims.”

AP reported from Virginia about an attack that took place just hours before: “Muslim Teen Killed After Leaving Mosque.”

ARUN GUPTA, arun.indypendent at gmail.com, @arunindy
Gupta is an investigative reporter whose work has been published by the Washington Post, The Nation, and the Guardian. Recently, he wrote two articles on right-wing and anti-Islamic extremism for the Intercept, “Playing Cops: Militia Members Aids Police in Arresting Protester at Portland Alt-Right Rally” and Raw Story, “Anti-Sharia rallies brought out pro-Trump thugs — internet radicalized and spoiling for violence.”

He said today: “The killings in London and Virginia highlight the growing threat of far-right violence in the West. While the media obsessed last week over Bernie Sanders’ responsibility in the shooting of a Congressman, there have been no fewer than five murders linked to white supremacist and alt-right supporters since Donald Trump was elected. We see a pattern with these attacks. Government officials and news outlets are swift to label an attack carried out by a Muslim as terrorism, but they are slow to label attacks perpetrated by far-right extremists as terrorism, as shown by the London attack. In other instances, the attack is never called terrorism. That is the case of Jeremy Christian, the Portland-area man who allegedly knifed two men to death after they came to the aid of two women of color, one wearing a hijab, as Christian threatened and assaulted them. He was a known white supremacist and had been filmed at an alt-right rally weeks earlier throwing Nazi salutes and yelling, ‘Die Muslims,’ but that is apparently not enough evidence for the two murders to be investigated as or deemed a possible terror attack.

“While the victims of terrorism are spread across the population … it is Muslim communities that bear the brunt of terrorism, particularly in countries destabilized, bombed, or invaded by Western forces.

“There is evidence of a dramatic jump in hate crimes and incidents coming initially after Donald Trump announced his candidacy in June 2015 and then again after he was elected in November 2016. While some individuals in the West carry out deadly attacks in the name of Islam, there are others who kill in the name of Christianity, white supremacy, racism, and Islamophobia. But usually only the former is labeled or even investigated as terrorism.”