Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Crime at the Holocaust Museum | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The body-count may not have been large, it was an individual attack, and no organization has claimed responsibility for it. One victim was killed, while the perpetrator ended up in hospital awaiting trail on charges of murder, simply because the [US political] system does not punish hatred or racism. This is just one more racially motivated crime in a multi-ethnic society where cultures are beginning to compete. The paradox is that this crime took place at a museum that deals with the history of the Holocaust, a story of racism that many reject, not because it did not occur, but because it is part of an ongoing ideological conflict. Evidence of this is that Holocaust deniers publicly call for getting rid of other ethnic groups and promote white European supremacy.

The perpetrator of the crime has all the qualities that contradict the stereotypical definition of a racist; he is 88 years old, white – the most privileged racial group of all – and lives in an economically rich country. If one has these characteristics and lives in a country that allows freedom of expression and the right to [political] objection via elections, why would anyone need to take a gun to a museum and kill an African-American guard in order to express their hatred of the Jews?

This is proof that hatred has nothing to do with poverty, literacy, political suppression, religion, or even youth, rather it is tied to culture. This must be understood by those attempting to play down the security threat, as well as those who are searching for scapegoats in Islamic books and Muslim society. It is not difficult to find evidence to implicate the wrong people, which is what happened [initially] with regards the Holocaust Museum shooting.

The anti-Muslims are the same as the anti-Semitics; those who are racist against blacks are the same as those who are racist against whites. They are all alike.

Do not underestimate the power of culture, especially the power of the culture of hatred, and the influence that this can have on an individual. Why does a young millionaire like Osama Bin Laden end up fighting others?

What transforms an intellectual physician like Ayman al-Zawahiri into a killer on the basis of religious identity?

This is the same hatred that made a white Christian American head to a museum with the intention of carrying out an act of premeditated murder in order to express his opinions. Hatred has the capacity to destroy the desire for respect and dialogue; it has the capacity to destroy the desire for coexistence.

According to statistics, the number of websites belonging to racist white supremacist groups has increased by thousands, this is not because the situation on the ground has worsened, but because the means for spreading racism has become cheaper and more readily available. These websites are full of incitement against Muslims, blacks and Jews, and are full of myths that talk about Islamic conspiracies to occupy the US, or Jewish conspiracies to control the US central bank, and so on. These groups operate in the open under the protection of the US [political] system that allows this culture [of hatred] to spread in the name of protecting civil liberties afforded by the US constitution. At the same time that the US government travels around the world and urges others to fight against this same culture of hatred [that it protects].

In fact many of the racist literature found on extremis Islamic websites comes from white neo-Nazi websites who have fabricated much of their information. How can we fight hatred when its sources are being protected [by the political system]?