The brutal terrorist attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, today, were, according to police, perpetrated by Brenton Tarrant, a sociopathic Australian who identified as a “white nationalist.” Three others were arrested in connection with the attacks. The assailant(s) killed 49 people and wounded nearly that many more. Tarrant live-streamed part of the attack to FaceBook, and posted it to other social media outlets – significantly enhancing the profile of this attack. The assailant(s) reportedlyfled the second mosque after a good guy with a gun returned fire.
The primary suspect declared in a lengthy manifesto that he was inspired by the racists who perpetrated attacks on a black church in South Carolina and a teen camp in Norway, among other such attacks. For that reason and because he mentioned President Donald Trump as “a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose” (though condemning some of his policies), the Leftmedia and others, including the Australian prime minister, are parroting the charge that he is a “far-right extremist.”
We note that these are the same Leftmedia outlets who lectured ad nauseam after Islamist terrorist attacks — including Paris, Orlando, San Bernardino, and 9/11 — that Islam is the religion of peace, and that we shouldn’t stereotype Muslims by associating all of them with a few extremists.
Fact is, there are brutal Islamic attacks against Christians in the Middle East and Africa, with virtually no media notice. But indeed, we shouldn’t embrace a stereotypes that all Muslims support such violence.
That notwithstanding, we fully expect the Leftmedia’s reporting on this incident, and hate-profiteering by the Southern Poverty Law Center, to focus on the rise of “right wing” hatred in the age of Trump, casting that stereotypical shadow over all those who support Trump. But as we’ve said before, there’s nothing uniquely “right wing” about racism or nationalism.
The New York Times reports, “Writing that he had purposely used guns to stir discord in the United States over the Second Amendment’s provision on the right to bear arms, he also declared himself a fascist. ‘For once, the person that will be called a fascist, is an actual fascist,’ he wrote.”
But, for the record, the ideological spectrum is better understood not as linear, but circular. And in that sphere: Fascism occupies the space between Left and Right.Anyone who asserts that fascism is uniquely “right wing” is either grossly misinformed or intellectually disingenuous. The New Zealand assailant was not advocating Liberty, individual rights or limited government. Far from it.
As seasoned political analyst Erick Erickson noted, “He is sympathetic to the ideals espoused by Bernie Sanders and wants state control of corporations.” The manifesto’s author called himself an “Eco-fascist” who wanted a form of “Green Nationalism.” He railed against humans for destroying the environment and causing global warming, and he advocated government control to stop it. “The nation with the closest political and social values to my own,” he wrote, “is the People’s Republic of China.” That would be Communist China.
Right winger? Hardly.
For his part, President Trump said, “I spoke with Prime Minister Ardern of New Zealand to express the sorrow of our entire nation following the monstrous terror attacks at two mosques. These sacred places of worship were turned into scenes of evil killing. … It’s a horrible, horrible thing.”
A final note: Attacks on houses of worship are, tragically, nothing new. The Associated Press compiled a list of 18 such attacks just over the last decade. Churches, mosques, synagogues — nothing is safe. Such violent hatred is pure evil. Indeed, the assailant bore symbols of Satanism among his belongings. Responsible people should rise above that evil with run-of-the-mill political disagreements.