The massacre of at least 49 people – in and just outside two mosques in Christchurch – yesterday (Friday, March 15) is a horror that has shocked much of the country. People are saying ‘not here’. Ok, that’s understandable. However, we will only make progress where we’re like ‘not anywhere’.
Prime minister Jacinda Ardern has condemned the massacre, but the awful reality is that the New Zealand state has carried out massacres of Muslim villages and communities in Afghanistan and Iraq for decades. Where was the condemnation when it was carried out by heavily armed state forces? Labour, National and nearly every parliamentary party and member have directly overseen and/or gone along with the state terrorism. These activities have occurred under governments led by both main parties. And when Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson exposed NZ state atrocities in Afghanistan the previous and current government turned a blind eye and aided the cover-up.
It was the rhetoric and warmongering against Islamic countries waged by the Western powers for the past two decades that created the ideological backdrop for far-right attacks on Muslim communities. When the cold war came to an end the old communist bogeyman was replaced by the Muslim bogeyman.
On top of this, all the parliamentary parties favour immigration controls which demonise particular sets of immigrants, especially those from East Asia and the Middle East, setting up the idea that people from these regions are less legitimate as NZ citizens. In recent years, Labour has a particularly atrocious record in relation to demonising immigrants, thereby contributing to the anti-immigrant poison which people like the white racists behind this attack draw from ideologically. Labour in opposition kept banging the anti-immigration drum. Andrew Little in 2017 claimed that migrants were clogging up the roads, filling the houses and taking jobs. It’s time for a breather on immigration he said. Phil Twyford announced a “tsunami of Chinese money” was heading to our shores. He claimed 60% of house sales in Auckland were to Chinese buyers – a false and xenophobic statement.
The people who administer the NZ imperialist state can wring their hands and issue their moral condemnations, but a good deal of responsibility for this bloodshed lies with them. And while issuing their moral condemnations, they will continue to wreak carnage in the Third World and maintain immigration control that delegitimise the presence in New Zealand of the victim of these attacks. And the state will continue to tool up. That, of course, won’t even help public safety. The state has increased ‘anti-terrorism’ laws since 2001 and intensified its spying capabilities. Its monitoring has been directed at Islamic communities and the far left, but it is the far right that is more likely to carry out acts of mass terror.
This article originally appeared on Redline.