It is well-known that successive US governments and majority of US’ media have since decades been orchestrating the rhetoric of the “danger” from “Radical Islamic Terrorism” to create the pretext for promoting US’ war-mongering policies/military actions against the target Muslim countries for attaining geo-economic and geostrategic gains. They are ignoring their own homegrown terrorism of these Islamophobic Countries.
US’ European allies and majority of their media preferred to join that US’ “propaganda bandwagon”. It is that rhetoric which created “Islamophobia” – a hateful prejudice against the religion of Islam and Muslims – in the minds of the people of US and its allies.
Of course all that rhetoric was/is a blatant untruth. In fact successive US governments themselves created the terrorists. To mention the examples of Al-Qaeda and ISIS/IS/ISIL/Daesh; it would suffice to quote just two assertions to establish that fact: (a) as reported in the article, titled “Obama Admits Creation of ISIS by Washington” published by South Front dated 07.12.2016, “During his speech in Tampa, Florida, outgoing US President Barack Obama has virtually admitted that US has created the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group” (https://southfront.org/obama-admits-creation-of-isis-by-washington/); and (b) In his lengthy research article Garikai Chengu, a research scholar at Harvard University has asserted, “Much like Al Qaeda, the Islamic State (ISIS) is made-in-the-USA, an instrument of terror designed to divide and conquer the oil-rich Middle East and to counter Iran’s growing influence in the region” (https://www.quora.com/Did-the-U-S-really-create-ISIS-How).
The successive governments of US and its allies have so far managed, through various media control and strong propaganda mechanisms, to hide that reality and retain that hate-mongering phenomenon of Islamophobia polluting the minds of their public. Even in September, as published by media, US President Donald Trump in an Indian-American public meeting in Houston held by Indian PM Modi declared that United States is “committed to protecting innocent Indian-Americans from the threat of radical Islamic terrorism” (https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/howdy-modi-pm-modi-stands-claps-as-donald-trump-raises-radical-islamic-terrorism-1602055-2019-09-23); as if the Indian-Americans are under threat of attack by Islamic terrorists – something nowhere to be seen in US! Everyone knows that Donald Trump did it to gain electoral sympathy of the Indian-Americans for his 2020 election campaign. However, should the head of the state stoop as low as to stating such blatant untruth in public to attract voters for his own benefit; that is a matter which needs to be pondered upon by the people of US who are so proud of their civilisation values.
However, the repercussions of those hate-arousing propaganda machinations of the governments of US and its allies have now started producing hatred and intolerance based violent divisiveness in their own country’s societal texture. Now there are regularly published news reports of the acts of homegrown terrorism – while the previously oft-published news of Islamic terrorist activities in these countries have long gone out of media. Different terminologies are used for these acts of homegrown terrorism, like Far Right terrorism, Racism, supremacism, anti-Semitism, etc. In essence all such categories relate to the hatred-based intolerance of the White race Christians who consider themselves superior to all of the coloured races and the followers of the religions of Islam and Judaism.
Though at this stage these acts of homegrown terrorism in Europe, mainly Far Right terrorism and anti-Semitism, are comparatively lesser in number, yet these are certainly reflecting an alarming rise. That fact has been reported by French state-owned international news television network France 24 dated 19 March 2019 by highlighting, “European intelligence services have for years been increasing surveillance of ultra-right groups which are seen as a growing threat and capable of carrying out attacks similar to those that left 50 dead at two mosques in New Zealand” (https://www.france24.com/en/20190319-europe-
intelligence-far-right-extremism-growing-threat-christchurch).Similarly the report dated 11 July 2019 by the US-based American Security Project has also highlighted that the E.U. Terrorism Situation and Trend Report released on 27 June 2019 by Europol has “concluded that one of the most prominent threats is the rise of the far-right across Europe. In Europe and the United States, non-Islamic attacks are becoming increasingly common and concerning” (https://www.american
On the other hand in US – the principal perpetrator of the hatred-mongering Islamophobia – the terrorist acts including White Nationalism/Supremacism, Racism, anti-Muslim and anti-Semitism have already assumed menacing proportions.
The fact that this menacing problem of terrorism in US is not due to Islamic terrorists but is due to the rise of US’ homegrown terrorists, was highlighted in the article titled “The Real Terrorist Threat in America It’s No Longer Jihadist Groups”, published by Foreign Affairs (US) dated 30 October 2018 (https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2018-10-30/real-terrorist-threat-america)
However, the news about the high-growing surge of homegrown terrorism in US is “technically” masked by an amendment of US constitution. In that context the article titled “The Threatening Rise of Non-Islamic Terror and Extremism in The West”, published by Washington-based American Security Project dated 11 July 2019, clarified, “Since 9/11, only 34 right-wing extremists have been charged under U.S. terrorism laws, but 268 have been prosecuted. It is difficult to charge people with domestic terrorism charges due to First Amendment rights”; and in consequence, it also asserts, “There is no indication that violent extremism will cease in the near future” https://www.americansecurityproject.org/the-threatening-rise-of-non-islamic-terror-and-extremism-in-the-west/
Another article titled “We worked to defeat the Islamic State. White nationalist terrorism is an equal threat”, published by The Washington Post dated 6 August 2019, highlights certain horrifying facts of the homegrown terrorism in US. That article has been authored by General (Retd.) John R. Allen, President of the Brookings Institution, and Brett McGurk of Stanford University; both were special presidential envoys for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS.
They have asserted that: US now faces a new national security threat not from the Islamic State but from domestic and homegrown white nationalist terrorism; that the attacks are cheered on by adherents in dark corners of the Internet; and that these terrorist acts are driven by hateful narratives, dehumanization, the rationalization of violence and the glorification of murder, combined with ready access to recruits and weapons of war. The authors have also lamented that when it comes to white nationalist terrorism, President Trump speaks with equivocation, and his rhetoric, wittingly or not, has the effect of providing cover for extremists who excuse their actions in the language of political grievance. This last aspect has also been lamented upon in the article titled “White Supremacist Terrorism strikes Again in the Age of Trump and Putin” in the Informed Comment weblog dated 8- 4 – 2019 by John Ricardo I. Juan Cole, who is Professor of History at the University of Michigan. He has asserted, “Today, almost all terrorism in the United States has a white nationalist character, and the person promoting stochastic terrorism by the Far Right is the president of the United States”.
Homegrown violence in US has become massive by now – as clearly reflected from the records of the Washington DC-based Gun Violence Archive which, according to the US’ daily news website Business Insider dated 31 December 2018, mentions that “more than 14,000 people died from gun-related violence in the US in 2018, and more than 28,000 others were injured”.
However the gravity of the homegrown terrorism in US is particularly reflected by the acts of “Mass Shootings”. The Gun Violence Archive defines a mass shooting as a single incident in which four or more people, not including the shooter, are shot and/or killed at the same general time and location. Since last some years the horrifying acts of mass shootings by the US’ homegrown terrorists have been on the terrifying rise. These terrorists have carried out the mass shootings, killing and injuring innocent civilian men, women and children at public places like parks, pubs, hotels, hospitals, schools, mosques and synagogues, etc. The published records of Gun Violence Archive show that; (a) in 2018, there were 340 mass shootings, i.e. nearly as many mass shootings as days in the year, with 373 people dead and 1,346 injured; and (b) in 2019 (287 days from 1 January to 12 October) there were 333 mass shootings, i.e. 46 more than the number of days, with 379 people dead and 1,341 injured.
All these facts clearly show that, though still a bit “masked” by US and European media, the “White Nationalism/Supremacism” filled with violent hatred against other races and religionists particularly Muslims and Jews has spread throughout the US, making it insecure for the non-Whites, Muslims and Jews. Besides that, it is also spreading fast in Europe, Canada and even in countries as far as New Zealand.
Brigadier (Retd.) Dr. Ahsan ur Rahman Khan
An Army Veteran and Writer