Lowkey is spot on – ‘The attack in New Zealand did not take place in a vacuum’

Lowkey on stage
Fréa Lockley

At least 49 Muslim people were murdered in a brutal and vicious attack across two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. So far, at least one man is in custody. As news of this attack shocks the world, rapper and activist Lowkey spoke out about the deeper issues.

“Caricaturing Muslims”

As Lowkey pointed out, the “attack in New Zealand did not take place in a vacuum”:

 

Sadly, he’s spot on. The attacker shot innocent people as they prayed peacefully in a mosque, purely because they’re Muslim. As Lowkey explained, this attack was a “natural conclusion” of “psychological war games”. And those war games have been played out by global governments through wars and highly profitable arms sales since 9/11.

Our governments have ‘othered‘ Muslim people. As the far right gathers strength around the world, it too has continued to focus on Muslim people as ‘the enemy’. The individual, or group, responsible for this latest atrocity gain power from this hideous narrative.

Complicit

After 9/11, Tony Blair ‘led’ the UK’s invasion of Iraq. The war killed hundreds of thousands of people, and the Chilcot inquiry concluded it was unnecessary. Both the US and the UK knew it could lead to a rise in terrorism – as it did. And while there can never be any justification for the hideous actions of Daesh (ISIS/ISIL), the role of the US and the UK in its rise cannot be ignored.

Lowkey also urged people to read a book called What is Islamophobia?: Racism, Social Movements and the State

As this book notes:

the state, and more specifically the sprawling official ‘counterterrorism’ apparatus, [is] absolutely central to the production of contemporary Islamophobia – it is the backbone of anti-Muslim racism. An increasingly powerful and largely unaccountable set of institutions, with close relations with multinational technology and security companies, targets ‘extremists’ and those said to have been ‘radicalised’, focusing on Muslims in particular… [This] means that many thousands of people in the UK, including non-Muslims, are now regarded as legitimate targets for suspicion, surveillance and intelligence-gathering.

Meanwhile, as figures from Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) show, the UK has approved £41bn in arms licences since 2008. From Yemen to Afghanistan, Turkey to Palestine, our government profits from war and the death of Muslim people.

In 2017/18, Islamophobic hate crimes in London alone rose over 31%. And as The Canary reported, Conservative MPs continue to make Islamophobic comments. Yet calls led by Baroness Sayeeda Warsi to fully investigate the “overwhelming evidence of Islamophobia” are ignored.

Connections

The 2018 Global Terrorism Index revealed a 27% drop in terrorism deaths globally. But the same report found that in Western Europe and the US, attacks by far-right extremists are rising. As it noted:

The majority of attacks were carried out by lone actors with far-right, white nationalist, or anti-Muslim beliefs.

These issues are all connected.

As we mourn the deaths of innocent people on the other side of the world, Lowkey is absolutely on point. This attack didn’t happen in a vacuum and it’s vital that the wider context of this appalling act is examined.

Featured image via Lowkey

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