Among the list of things that have both saddened and angered me in the aftermath of the Christchurch massacre is the half-hearted and evasive media coverage. It was a hate crime, a bloodshed charged with hateful anti-Muslim passion. I made a conscious effort to avoid the word Islamophobia because to be phobic is to be irrationally terrorized. Brenton Tarrant, the white supremacist who took the lives of 50 Muslims in two mosques and injured 50 more, acted out of hatred, not fear. It is also necessary to recognize that this was an act of terrorism, because massacre is not a side effect of mental illness.
The solidarity being expressed by many seems quite disingenuous to me, as a lot of it evades the task of calling the shooting a hate crime, or an act of terror. This is eerily similar to the reluctance of the U.S. Department of Justice to recognize the 2015 murder of three Muslims in Chapel Hill as a hate crime. This evasiveness is dangerous, it dulls down the urgency of the growing pandemic of anti-Muslim crime. Enough is enough, we cannot make progress in our fight against hatred without acknowledging it and facing it head on.
Fouad Abu Hijleh