I saw at first-hand the blind spot to anti-Muslim hate and Islamophobia during my six years with Tell Mama
The grief had hardly set in for the families and loved ones of those murdered in Friday’s terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, before Fraser Anning, the senator for Queensland, said: “The real cause of bloodshed on New Zealand streets today is the immigration programme which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place.”
Just to rub salt in the wound, he added: “Let us be clear, whilst Muslims may have been the victims today, usually they are the perpetrators. Worldwide, Muslims are killing people in the name of their faith on an industrial scale.”
This is a common pattern, where attacks against Muslims are justified by some politicians in the name of tackling Islamist extremism or terrorism.
If you read that very statement, the victim-blaming that was taking place was against innocent, law-abiding Muslims who were simply praying and who had no history of Islamist violence.
It was a crass and cruel attempt to load onto the dead souls a sense of guilt that was unmerited and uncalled for.