Christchurch Massacre: Best and Worst of Humanity

Has the world seen the best and the worst of humanity since the Christchurch mosque massacre in New Zealand? How did New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern handle the aftermath of the tragedy? Is her genuine compassion and decisiveness a shining example of leadership? How was the response to the tragedy from major world leaders like US President Donald Trump, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Imran Khan? What does it say about them?

Who came out to show support for Muslim communities around the world? How did New Zealanders show solidarity with Muslims? How did Muslims in Silicon Valley deal with the aftermath of the tragedy? Who joined them in mourning?

Who celebrated the massacre of innocent Muslims and why? What do White Nationalism and Hindu Nationalism have in common? Are these two sides of the same coin? Who was BS Moonje and why did he meet Mussolini? Who was Golwalkar and why did he admire Hitler? What is Modi's connection with Golwalkar's RSS movement? What did he say about Hitler's treatment of Jews as "a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by"?

What did Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik say about Hindu Nationalists in his manifesto? Are White Nationalists and Hindu Nationalists reinforcing each other on social media platforms? What role does social media play in promoting extremist ideologies? What can be done to manage this problem?

Viewpoint From Overseas host Misbah Azam discusses these questions with Sabahat Ashraf (ifaqeer) and Riaz Haq (www.riazhaq.com)


https://youtu.be/BXGWZvTNOkk






Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Hindu Nationalists Love Nazis

Islamophobia Goes Mainstream in 2017

A Conversation With White Nationalist Jared Taylor on Race in America

Lynchistan: India is the Lynching Capital of the World

Modi and Trump

Anders Breivik: Islamophobia in Europe and India

Hindu Nationalism Goes Global

Hindutva: The Legacy of the British Raj

Comments

Riaz Haq said…
Author JM Berger Says #NewZealandTerroristAttack Points To A Global Resurgence Of '#Extremism' "We're seeing a resurgence in various countries," he says of #WhiteNationalism . "It's a worldwide phenomenon." #Christchurch #Islamophobia #racism #Trump https://n.pr/2CEHDuA

So what we've seen is because Trump is a huge magnet for news attention, for media attention, he's a really useful figure to give all these diverse movements something to coalesce around. White nationalism and the far-right in general is very factional. Everybody has their own little group. The groups don't get along. They don't believe the same things. There's often a lot of infighting and they sometimes kill each other. What they have now is kind of a common theme, a common cause that they can work into their dialogue, and make it more palatable to people. It helps bring out the attitudes that are friendly to what they want, and really, support for him has become a crystallizing factor.


One of the few things we really know about this guy is that he was very steeped in trolling culture. So the original manifesto and the link to his video were first posted on 8chan, which is a trolling site. There's all manner of anti-social content on a site like that, including a lot of white nationalism and a lot of other extremely objectionable kind of views. But a lot of what they do is cloaked in this sort of shroud of irony.

So they're being "funny" and it's designed to provoke people, to offend people, to get them chasing down rabbit holes of content, and to put misinformation out that has to be corrected later and kind of muddies the truth around things. ... So there's a real culture here of messing with the media; messing with the mainstream narrative. ... A lot of what's in this manifesto is really designed to mislead. It's not like some of the previous examples we've seen, which are very sincere and ideological.

There's a lot of jokes in it, and it's kind of horrifying to think that somebody would kill 50 people to get a series of bad Internet jokes out in circulation in the world. That's certainly not the only reason he did it. He certainly appears to sincerely have these kind of anti-immigration and white nationalist views, but this is sort of a new thing, and it caught a lot of media unawares. So there were a lot of reports that just unironically repeated things that were in the manifesto, that were clearly questionable, clearly meant ironically. Some of them are memes or were sort of deep cut jokes that were really pulled out of obscurity, and some of them are almost certainly incorrect.


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A Former Neo-Nazi Explains Why Hate Drew Him In — And How He Got Out
You have a book like The Turner Diaries [by Andrew MacDonald], which is a dystopian white nationalist novel that opens with minorities taking over the government and disarming white Americans. The book successfully conveys that as an apocalyptic event so effectively that even people who are not heavily engaged with white nationalism turned to the book and talk about it as if it was prophetic. ...

What we've seen even more in the last couple of years is a wave of other books that seek to maintain the extreme gun control theme without having quite so much of the overt racism. So we've seen a lot of extremist authors. There's this incredible body of dystopian, extremist fiction that I'm currently working on for a future project, and what you see is that people from a lot of anti-government viewpoints, people with different kinds of racial viewpoints, they're all writing books that open up with guns being taken away. I don't think extremists should be able to dictate our policies and public discourse on this, but I think we should also be aware of what effect something like that here would have on them.

Riaz Haq said…
The #UN Must Urgently Investigate #Hindutva #Extremist Violence Against #Indian #Muslims. #Modi #HinduNationalist #India #Islamophobia https://eurasiafuture.com/2019/03/25/the-un-must-urgently-investigate-hindutva-extremist-violence-against-indian-muslims/ via @eurasia_future

On the 23rd of March, horrifying video emerged of a Hindutva lynch mob attacking a Muslim family with sticks and swords while the desperate cries of a female relative can be heard in the background. The incident which took place in Haryana state was apparently triggered by something as innocent as a stray cricket ball. This led to a violent break-in of the Muslim family’s private property by the violent and heavily armed mob.


Days before, a 50 year old man in Uttar Pradesh was beaten to death by a Hindutva mob of 20 young thugs, all the while his young son looked on in horror.

And yet these recent incidents are not isolated but are instead part of a wider development whereby radical Hindutva lynch mobs are both actively and subliminally encouraged to commit crimes against humanity by the political class.

Determining the citizenship of peasants in India has always been a difficult task due to the lack of modern local governance in remote and rural regions, as well as due to the fact that many of the people in question simply do not have any modern documentation that is typically used to determine one’s status as a citizen. It is against this background that India’s lower house of Parliament has decided to pass a proposal as part of the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019, that would see all un-documented Indian residents have their status normalised as full Indian citizens – with the exception of Muslims.

The passage of the new proposals have led to riots in India’s eastern Assam state where last year, four million Muslims were left off of citizenship rolls, effectively leaving them stateless even though most of these people had spent much or even all of their lives in India. While many believe that the controversial bill won’t be cleared by the upper house of India’s parliament, the fact that such an explicitly discriminatory piece of legislation could even be considered, says a great deal about the anti-Islamic tricks that Premier Narendra Modi’s BJP has up its sleeves in the run-up to this year’s general election.

While India has not even been able to conduct a proper tally of its own residents and has struggled throughout 2018 to attempt and conduct such a thing without resorting to overt discrimination, the wider global media has been focused more on Donald Trump’s border wall than on India’s wholesale discrimination against 172 million of its Muslim citizens, as well as the discrimination against millions of non-documented Muslims who know no other home than India.

Legally, Trump’s border wall does not violate any part of the US constitution and it is of course the right of every nation to physically secure its borders, just as Pakistan and Turkey have done in respect of portions of their borders with hostile neighbours. But what India is doing is something very different. India is punishing millions of people in Assam and beyond, for the fact that they were brought to India as genuine refugees and had lived for years in a system with widespread deficiencies in local governance that did not allow for a traditional normalisation of their status within India.
Riaz Haq said…
#India Might Not Survive Another 5 Years of #Modi. ‘Hindu Rashtra’ has been open agenda of the #RSS since its inception in the 1920s. It had openly demanded Manusmriti to be the guiding force of the #Indian Constitution in 1949. #Hindutva #BJP https://newscentral24x7.com/narendra-modi-bjp-rss-hindu-rashtra-hatred-muslims-lok-sabha-elections-2019/ via @nc24x7

By Ashok Swain, Professor of Peace and Conflict Research

The Indian Middle Class has fallen for the overwhelming perception that is being manufactured by the ruling regime and its political-media complex these days by blaming Muslims and Pakistan for all the wrongs in the country, it. It is quite difficult to comprehend that the Middle Class has been gloating over the regime-sponsored propaganda of India being the highest growing economy in the world, at the same time blaming Muslims for the country, being poor and failing to create new jobs.


It is also baffling that the Middle Class, day-dreaming that India has surpassed China as the global power, still finds Pakistan as the country’s major threat. In India these days, there is very little space for reason and logic. The so-called argumentative Indians have become screaming Indians. A negative and defeatist passion has engulfed the country. Even educated elites and so-called liberals have been inflicted with a new HN (hyper-nationalism) virus.

India has passed through very difficult times in its 72 years of existence but had never blamed a particular country and/or a community for it as it does now. No one questions this mass-madness against Muslims and Pakistan, many blindly accept this Modi-manufactured discourse, others are scared to be branded as anti-Hindu and anti-national. India is fast slipping into an abyss.

The lack of unity among opposition parties has provided Modi a very fertile ground to powerfully-project a community and a country as Hindu nation’s enemies and at the same time build support for its ‘Hindu Rashtra’ project. The Congress party, in spite of its 40+ seats in the present Lok Sabha, is still the only party, which can challenge and checkmate Modi and Sangh Parivar over their grand plan of winning the election again and turning India to a Hindu Talibani state.

But, the smaller-state level parties, who are basically family-run political clubs without any political ideology and the only aim is to be in power or with power, are doing all they can to scuttle the process of opposition unity and actively facilitating Modi’s capture of power again. Most political commentators, who had supported Modi’s coming to power in 2014 in the name of their opposition to UPA’s corruption, are shedding crocodile tears in TV studios every evening over the Congress not being accommodative enough to create an opposition unity. Strange that these political commentators don’t see any role of the state-level satraps in saving India from falling into the hands of Hindu chauvinism forever.

There is no doubt that if Modi wins the election again, it will be good for the Congress as a political party and its organisation. Many old-timer power-brokers of the party have taken into a mindset as if ruling the country is their birthright. Another defeat might send many of them to retire or move to other parties in the search for power. That will help Rahul Gandhi to bring in new leadership, new ideas and most importantly, for the party to get back its fighting spirit. He is young, the natural face of opposition and has international recognition and support. He can politically afford to wait.
Riaz Haq said…
The Indian Constitution, which is appreciated world over for its progressive content, was a disappointment for the RSS. The Organiser had stated in the November 30, 1949 issue:


https://www.newsclick.in/neech-debate-heres-what-manu-smriti-favourite-rss-has-say-about-it


“The worst about the new constitution of Bharat is that there is nothing Bhartiya about it. The drafters of the Constitution have incorporated in it elements of British, American, Canadian, Swiss and sundry other constitutions. But there is no trace of ancient Bhartiya constitutional laws, institutions, nomenclature and phraseology in it…But in our constitution, there is no mention of the unique constitutional development in ancient Bharat. Manu’s Laws were written long before Lycurgus of Sparta or Solon of Persia. To this day his laws as enunciated in the Manusmriti excite the admiration of the world and elicit spontaneous obedience and conformity. But to our constitutional pundits that means nothing.”

While conservative Hindus see Manusmriti as a document that “excite(s) the admiration of the world”, the laws of Manu really need to be examined to see what it has to say about women, the lower castes and the “untouchables”.

The Manusmriti is a law-book that prescribes rules and regulations for the four varnas (Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra) as well as avarnas or the “untouchables” or the chandalas. The book bestows privileges upon the Brahmin men, which is what the RSS leadership is made of. For women, lower-castes and untouchables, there are no rights at all.

The law book – which the RSS wants as the guiding document to run India – has certain prescriptions for the untouchable castes on what they can eat; what property they can own; what should be their clothing, and how and where they should live (excerpts from ‘Laws of Manu’, published by Penguin):

[50] These (castes) should live near mounds, trees, and cremation-grounds, in mountains and in groves, recognizable and making a living by their own innate activities.

[51] But the dwellings of ‘Fierce’ Untouchables and ‘Dog-cookers’ should be outside the village; they must use discarded bowls, and dogs and donkeys should be their wealth.

[52] Their clothing should be the clothes of the dead, and their food should be in broken dishes; their ornaments should be made of black iron, and they should wander constantly.

[53] A man who carries out his duties should not seek contact with them; they should do business with one another and marry with those who are like them.

[54]Their food, dependent upon others, should be given to them in a broken dish, and they should not walk about in villages and cities at night.

[55] They may move about by day to do their work, recognizable by distinctive marks in accordance with the king’s decrees; and they should carry out the corpses of people who have no relatives; this is a fixed rule.

[56] By the king’s command, they should execute those condemned to death, always in accordance with the teachings, and they should take for themselves the clothing, beds, and ornaments of those condemned to death.

One look at these laws that Manu prescribed for the untouchable castes makes it clear why the Constituent Assembly did not even mention the “law-book”.

The “law-book” even dictates what names of the people should be the according to their castes.

[31] (The name) of a priest should have (a word for) auspiciousness, of a ruler strength, of a commoner property, and (the name) of a servant should breed disgust.

[32] The name of a priest should have (a word for) secure comfort, of a king it should have protection, of a commoner it should be connected with prosperity, and of a servant it should be connected with service.

Riaz Haq said…
#samjhautablastcase: With ‘anguish’, NIA judge says crucial evidence was “withheld” by prosecutors resulting in ‘dastardly act’ going unpunished for want of proof. #Modi #Hindutva #terrorism #Islamophobia #Pakistan | #India News, The Indian Express

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/samjhauta-express-blast-with-deep-pain-and-anguish-nia-judge-says-dastardly-act-of-violence-unpunished-for-want-of-proof-5646743/

The court has also rapped the investigating agencies in general for what it called a "malaise" to "coin various terms like Muslim terrorism, Hindu fundamentalism etc or brand an act of criminal(s) as act(s) of particular religion, caste or community".

Coming down heavily on the NIA, the Panchkula special court judge, who last week acquitted all four accused in the Samjhauta Express blasts case, said he was doing it “with deep pain and anguish” because a “dastardly act of violence” was going unpunished.

In a 160-page order which was released Thursday — the verdict was delivered on March 20 — special NIA court judge Jagdeep Singh said the “best evidence” was “withheld” by the prosecution and was not brought on record. He said some of the cited independent witnesses were never examined or sought to be declared hostile for cross-examination when they chose not to support the prosecution case.

Naba Kumar Sarkar alias Swami Aseemanand, Kamal Chauhan, Rajinder Chaudhary and Lokesh Sharma were acquitted by the court on March 20. Sixty-eight people including 43 Pakistan citizens, 10 Indian citizens and 15 unidentified people were killed in the blasts which took place on the Attari-bound Samjhauta Express on February 18-19 night in 2007. Two explosions took place in two unreserved coaches between Diwana and Panipat in Haryana. Two bombs that did not go off were recovered later.

Three accused, Amit Chouhan (Ramesh Venkat Malhakar), Ramchandra Kalsangra and Sandeep Dange, have been declared proclaimed offenders. Another accused, Sunil Joshi — the NIA called him the mastermind — was killed in December 2007 in Dewas, Madhya Pradesh.

In his order, the judge said: “There are gaping holes in the prosecution evidence and an act of terrorism has remained unsolved. Terrorism has no religion because no religion in the world preaches violence. A Court of Law is not supposed to proceed on popular or predominant public perception or the political discourse of the day and ultimately it has to appreciate the evidence on record and arrive at final conclusion on the basis of relevant statutory provisions and settled law applicable thereto.”

“In the present case, there is no evidence regarding any agreement to commit the crime amongst the accused persons. There is no evidence regarding any meeting of minds between the accused to commit the crime. No concrete oral, documentary or scientific evidence has been brought on record to connect the accused, facing the trial, with the crime in question. There is not an iota of evidence to make out any motive on the part of the accused to indulge in the crime,” he said.

Observing that a large number of witnesses turned hostile in the case, the judge underlined the need for a sound and workable witness protection scheme in the country. Of 299 witnesses in the case, 224 deposed before the court. Of these, 51 were said to have turned hostile, changing statements recorded earlier.
Riaz Haq said…
When They Want #War, #India and #Pakistan Will Always Have #Kashmir. This year, it was Pakistan, rather than India, that came out looking like the adult on this occasion. #Balakot #PulwamaAttack https://www.thedailybeast.com/when-they-want-war-india-and-pakistan-will-always-have-kashmir?ref=scroll

The essentially violent nature of Hindu nationalism, or Hindutva, has now been laid bare by events. Countless Kashmiris in other parts of India spent most of late February avoiding lynch mobs—many of them helped by activists like Shehla Rashid, who you will hear from later in this series. Many gruesome scenes that recalled the 2002 Gujarat riots, which left countless people, mostly Muslims, dead.

The Indian media, up to and including ostensibly liberal journalists like Barkha Dutt, devolved in the wake of the Pulwama attack into an unthinking, bloodthirsty rabble. Bollywood actors, who have only ever played at war, became all-too-willing mongers for it.

Hindutva Twitter—which has long made MAGA Twitter look quaint—seethed with denunciations of “traitors” and “Pakapologists” and writhed with demands for ever greater violence. The extent to which Modi’s anti-Muslim rhetoric has entered the Indian mainstream—its bloodstream—seemed scarily absolute.


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On February 14, an Indian-born Kashmiri named Adil Ahmad Dar drove 300 kilograms of explosives into a convoy of Indian military vehicles in Pulwama, a district of Indian-administered Kashmir. In addition to himself, Dar killed 40 Indian soldiers, rendering the attack the deadliest in decades. A Pakistan-based militant group, Jaish-e-Mohammed, claimed responsibility for his actions, and the government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was quick to allege Pakistani involvement. Pakistan denied the charge.

A quickly escalating game of tit-for-tat followed. Indian jets crossed the infamous Line of Control and, according to official statements, bombed a terrorist training camp on Pakistani soil. Pakistan denied this, too, saying the planes hadn’t destroyed much of anything and certainly hadn’t killed any terrorists.

Meanwhile, Pakistan sent its own planes across the LoC in response. For the first time since the 1971 war that led to the creation of Bangladesh, India and Pakistan engaged in dogfights over Kashmir. When an Indian plane was shot down on the Pakistani side of the LoC, its pilot, Abhinandan Varthaman, was captured. He was returned to India on the first day of March in a move that Pakistan described as a “gesture of peace.” The stand-off has largely been limited to cross-border shooting and shelling since. A number of Kashmiris on both sides of the LoC have been killed.

Bill Clinton once described Kashmir as “the most dangerous place in the world.” Christopher Hitchens once described the LoC—from a vantage point on the Pakistani side—as “the near-certain flash point of a coming war that could well become an Asian Armageddon.”

For the moment, that war appears to have been averted. Cross-border shelling is business as usual in this part of the world.

But Hitchens would have been surprised to learn that it was Pakistan, rather than India, that came out looking like the adult on this occasion. Then again, Hitchens, who wrote his dispatch in 2007, had long been convinced that the U.S. alliance with Pakistan was a form of geopolitical self-harm, and Hitchens died before Modi came to power in India in 2014. He did not foresee the rise of an Islamophobic nationalist government in Delhi and couldn’t have guessed at the manner in which that government would wind up radicalizing a whole generation of Indian Kashmiris through its militarization of the region and the brutality it would inflict on its citizens there.
Riaz Haq said…
In #India Election, Lies, #Hate Speech Flummox #Facebook. Major #Indian parties run sophisticated #disinformation #socialmedia campaigns with false, manipulated photos and videos, coordinating posts across a network of paid acolytes, volunteers. #Modi #BJP https://nyti.ms/2FGEX0m

On Monday, the company said it had removed hundreds of misleading pages and accounts associated with the B.J.P. and its main rival, the Indian National Congress, many of which were publishing false information. Facebook also removed more than 100 fake pages and accounts controlled by the Pakistani military.

India — where the company has 340 million users, more than in any other country — poses distinct challenges. Posts and videos in more than a dozen languages regularly flummox Facebook’s automated screening software and its human moderators, both of which are built largely around English. Many problematic posts come directly from candidates, political parties and the media. And on WhatsApp, where messages are encrypted, the company has little visibility into what is being shared.

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After a suicide bombing on Feb. 14 in the disputed border region of Kashmir, India accused neighboring Pakistan of harboring the terrorists who it said had orchestrated the attack. The two countries quickly traded airstrikes.

Online, there was another battle.

One clip that circulated widely on Facebook and other services purported to show an aerial assault by India on an alleged terrorist camp in Pakistan. It was, in fact, taken from a video game. Photographs of dead bodies wrapped in white, supposedly of Pakistani militants killed in the attack, actually depicted victims of a 2015 heat wave, according to fact checkers. And local news outlets raced to post shreds of “exclusive” information about the hostilities, much of it downright false.

Facebook executives said the deluge was extraordinary. “I’ve never seen anything like this before — the scale of fake content circulating on one story,” tweeted Trushar Barot, a former BBC journalist who leads the social network’s anti-disinformation efforts in India.

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After Mr. Modi’s victory, Facebook advised him on how to use its service to govern, including getting government agencies and officials online. In 2015, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, hosted Mr. Modi for a televised chat at the company’s Silicon Valley headquarters. Facebook held India up as a model for how governments could use the social network.

Facebook has since played down its connection to politicians around the world, including Mr. Modi, amid a rise in political misinformation. Ajit Mohan, a former Fox executive who became the social network’s first India chief in January, said, “We are absolutely not affiliated to any political party in India or anywhere else in the world.”

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