In her statement to parliament, Theresa May said that the 22 March attacker was British and known to MI5 for some years. Yet the far right, including Nigel Farage, have been using the tragedy to advance an anti-immigrant, anti-refugee agenda. Before they knew any details about the attack.
On 22 March, an unnamed assailant drove a hired car into Westminster bridge, killing two people. Crashing the car outside parliament, he stabbed an unarmed police officer who later died from the injuries. Armed police then shot him.
On the night of the attack, Farage was commentating on Fox News. The former UKIP leader was rallying against immigration in response:
— Fox News (@FoxNews) March 23, 2017
Farage also used the attack to justify Donald Trump’s second ban on people from six Muslim-majority countries entering the US:
— TRUMP ANOMALY❌® (@ANOMALY1) March 23, 2017
But given that the perpetrator was British, immigration is irrelevant to the attack.
We now know yesterday's attacker was British born.
And yet Nigel Farage went on Fox News last night to say we don't vet *refugees* properly
— Sunny Hundal (@sunny_hundal) March 23, 2017
Westminster terrorist believed inspired by Islamism and Neo Nazi assassin of MP Jo Cox both British-born. Time to stop blaming "foreigners"
— Kevin Maguire (@Kevin_Maguire) March 23, 2017
Like most terrorists attacking UK, the Westminster killer was British-born.
Yet the hard-right still using the murders to push xenophobia
— Will Black (@WillBlackWriter) March 23, 2017
Trump has also issued an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees. Even though no Syrian refugee has been charged with intent to carry out an attack in the US in more than four decades.
The Polish Prime Minister joined Nigel Farage in exploiting the attack to justify anti-foreigner policies. Beata Szydlo said:
I hear in Europe very often: do not connect the migration policy with terrorism, but it is impossible not to connect them
She said the attack vindicated the Polish far right government’s refusal to accept any refugees.
Millionaire UKIP bankroller Aaron Banks also sought to capitalise on the attacks before knowing basic information:
Teresa May was Home Secretary for 6 year when over a million illegals were allowed into our country. I don't think I've ever felt more sick. https://t.co/K9wMxQfb3f
— Arron Banks (@Arron_banks) March 22, 2017
Many called for media outlets to stop platforming people who spread hate:
As well as high-profile UKIP figures, Katie Hopkins penned a column in The Daily Mail blaming immigrants:
This place is just like Sweden. Terrified of admitting the truth about the threat we face, about the horrors committed by the migrants we failed to deter.
Even if Hopkins and co were right and the attacker was from another country, it does not mean we should impose collective punishment on refugees and immigrants. Those who view Muslim people and immigrants indiscriminately are reciprocating the same outlook as the attacker, who viewed the people he killed in London indiscriminately.
The attacker was British. That should communicate that violence has no nationality. Hate must be condemned wherever it comes from and wherever it is seen.
The Canary will be following developments here.
Featured image via screenshot
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