The United States is not only saddled with a President who refuses to condemn violence and terrorism against Muslim Americans, but also one who has demonstrated a reluctance to speak out against white supremacists and neo-Nazis.
When neo-Nazis attack Muslim Americans, Trump offers neither a single word of condemnation for the attackers, nor a solitary verse of comfort for the families of the victims. When a neo-Nazi carried out a terrorist attack on Saturday, plowing his car into a crowd of anti-racist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, Trump’s initial response was to sympathize with those who took the streets with Swastika flags and shouts of “sieg heil, Trump,” choosing instead to blame “all sides” for the death of one and the injuries to a dozen more.
The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi online publication, praised Trump’s “all sides” deflection. “When asked to condemn [Saturday’s neo-Nazi terrorist attack], he just walked out of the room. Really, really good. God bless him,” wrote the website’s founder. When Trump was elected president in November of last year, the publication announced, “Our Glorious Leader has ascended to God Emperor.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate crime trends in the United States, tracked a record 1,094 racially motivated hate crimes and incidents in the first 34 days following Trump’s election, and with more than a third directly referencing either Trump, his “Make America Great Again” catch cry, and/or his now infamous comments regarding grabbing married women by the “pussy.”
Make no mistake, the rising popularity and appeal of neo-Nazism is real, and the side affects of this reality are now beginning to show their cancerous symptoms. While there are many congruent and divergent forces that have led to the rising popularity of neo-Nazi groups — from stagnating global economies, the negative effects of globalization, and the scapegoating of immigrants — it is observably evident Trump has mobilized and energized the very worst elements in our society.
But whereas the Nazis of the 1930s systematically victimized the Jewish people, today’s Hitler praising psychopaths are increasingly fixating their sights on Muslims.
At Saturday’s hate festival for white supremacists in Charlottesville, much love was shown for Syria’s genocidal dictator Bashar al-Assad. A number of neo-Nazis were seen wearing t-shirts that displayed images of helicopters dropping barrel bombs, accompanied with the wording, “Bashar’s Barrel Delivery Co.” While others read, “Barrel Bombs, Hell Yeah,” and “Assad Did Nothing Wrong.”
The love for Assad among neo-Nazis is born entirely in the secular dictator’s ethnic cleansing of Syria’s mostly Muslim population. In their eyes, Assad is doing to Muslims what Hitler did to the Jews. The logic is as perverse and simple as that.
When Trump attacked a Syrian regime runway in retaliation for Assad’s chemical weapons strike against civilians in Khan Sheikhoun, neo-Nazis and quasi-Nazis of all stripes criticized Trump’s actions. KKK leader David Duke praised Assad as an “amazing leader,” while white nationalist leader Richard Spencer demanded Trump cease all attacks against the Syrian dictator.
But aside from Trump’s one token and mostly symbolic attack on the Assad regime, the 45th President’s overtly anti-Muslim rhetoric and policies have inspired America’s neo-Nazis. It was a Trump loving neo-Nazi who attacked a Muslim girl on a train in Portland, resulting in the grisly stabbing deaths of two brave onlookers who tried to stop the attacker. It was a Trump loving quasi-Nazi who murdered 6 Muslims in a mosque in Quebec City.
The increasingly depraved fixation neo-Nazis have for Muslims is spreading across the Atlantic, too. Yesterday, UK authorities announced they are investigating approximately 40 neo-Nazis amid fears they are plotting terrorist attacks against Muslims around the country.
Whereas neo-Nazi attacks against Muslims in more recent times have come typically in response to an “Islamist” terrorist attack, a premeditated and organized plot represents a disturbing and overt intent to carry out an orchestrated terror campaign against British Muslim citizens.
According to one report, neo-Nazis are “proactively plotting” by making themselves familiar with Islamic institutions, and high-profiled Muslim community leaders.
It would not be a stretch to imagine neo-Nazis are carrying out the same kind of “proactive plotting” here in the United States, especially given neo-Nazi groups and individuals have a history of taking part in armed anti-mosque protests.
“The danger far-right extremists pose to national security is no different from Islamist terrorists,” a UK counterterrorism source told The Times. “They do their research, they identify vulnerable targets and then they make a move. But they are more difficult to track than Islamists because they appear to be much better at operating under the radar. We’re anticipating more problems and attacks by neo-Nazis.”
All of this goes hand-in-hand with the dramatic surge in the number of anti-Muslim groups over the course of the past two years, from 34 in the United States in 2015 to 101 at the end of 2016 — representing a 197% increase.
Given Trump’s refusal to condemn anti-Muslim terrorism, which amounts to tacit endorsement of terrorism against Muslim Americans, and with neo-Nazism on the rise in an already established climate of anti-Muslim hysteria, one can only fear and suspect that invocations of kristallnacht, but against Muslims, will soon not sound too far-fetched.
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