THE EDITOR: Last Friday, 50 unarmed, defenceless men, women and children engaged in religious activity in two mosques in New Zealand were brutally and callously slaughtered by one or more white supremacist, racist, fascist extremists.
The savage immigrant-hating gunman livestreamed his deadly gun assault and massacre of worshippers at two Christchurch mosques.
This is the latest atrocity committed by extreme right-wing elements claiming to be defending people of European descent from being “replaced” or crowded out by immigrants or refugees.
This particular xenophobic supremacist bearing all kinds of symbols of Hitlerite fascism even claimed that his mission of hate and barbarity was approved by another racist who slaughtered 77 people, including mostly young people, in Norway in 2011.
His “manifesto” even suggests that he found support in US President Donald Trump’s apologist statements describing US white supremacists as “having good people among them.”
Many think of the fascism of the Axis Powers which arose in the 1930s as well as the rising fascism of the present period as being about murderous crusades carried out under the inspiration of dogmas of various types.
Frequently, it is suggested that some individual or group or a whole society becomes or became lunatics and begin killing people.
The suggestion is sown that fascists are just some heavy-booted, lunatic fringe and fascism exits when people are physically killed.
To be real, however, we must recognise that once we believe something or accept a statement, position, analysis or concept without questioning the fundamentals involved, the soil of fascism is fertilised.
For example, “A view of the world is presented that is centred on fears of ‘national suicide’ and civilisational decline, in which whites are demographically overwhelmed by ‘inferior’ peoples, minorities and immigrants,” as a 2016 publication titled “No, this isn’t the 1930s – but yes, this is fascism,” pointed out.
The bogeyman of “international communism” and the racism of non-Aryan inferiority of the 1930s and 40s are today’s Islamic terrorism and xenophobia – “inferior” peoples, minorities and immigrants threatening the “replacement” of the white “civilisation.”
The essence is the same unfounded cultivated fears of national threat that is used to promote appeals to “patriotism,” defence of the homeland, safeguarding the nation against immigrant or refugee takeover.
This Nazi ideological conditioning is the veneer for the descent into a “democracy” reduced to the tyranny of shrinking minorities who find emotional satisfaction in a violent, resentful rhetoric while their narrowly-elected representatives strip away their rights and persecute their neighbours.
This is the danger when we accept that vicious extremists and terrorists like this shock trooper, who began his video-broadcast slaughter with the words, “Let’s get this party started,” are “nationalists” of some kind, or defenders of some “threatened” minority, or some righteous crusader against Islamic extremism.
Racists and fascists and the champions of xenophobia and hate who are their apologists have nothing good or useful to offer society or the world.
Seventy years ago, the world celebrated the defeat of fascism and vowed never to allow its return. Those who are compromising with its rise today or refuse to condemn it outright are exposing our societies and the world to grave danger.
Racists and fascists must never be allowed to inflict that kind of damage on humanity again.
Racists and fascists (however they disguise themselves) have no right to speak or organise. No quarter must be surrendered to them, nor their savage potential underestimated.
CLYDE WEATHERHEAD via e-mail