Press TV – US President Donald Trump says he doesn’t view white extremism as a rising threat even though many blame the terrorist massacre in New Zealand on Friday on his demonization of Muslims.
“I don’t really. I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems,” Trump told reporters at the White House when asked if he thought white nationalism is a growing global threat.
At least one gunman killed 49 people during Friday prayers in New Zealand’s worst ever mass shooting.
Witnesses have said his accomplices waited in a car outside the mosques but the mainstream media narrative has only focused on the main attacker and the other members of the gang are not mentioned at all.
The Australian gunman, identified as Brenton Tarrant, broadcast live footage on Facebook of the attack on one mosque in the city of Christchurch, after publishing a “manifesto” in which he called immigrants as “invaders.”
An elaborate onslaught on immigrants, especially debarring those from Muslim countries, constitutes the centerpiece of Trump’s “America First” policy.
Muslim and civil rights activists have long accused Trump of promoting intolerance. He called for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the US during his election campaign.
US security experts rejected Trump’s claim about the threat of white nationalists, saying the US president’s immigration policies have emboldened far-right groups and white supremacist ideology in the West.
In his manifesto, Tarrant said he saw Trump as “symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.”
“We need to deal with the domestic terrorism threat as a national priority,” said Ali Soufan, a former FBI agent who was involved in a number of high-profile anti-terrorism cases.
Intercept columnist Mehdi Hasan told CNN Tonight that “far-right terrorism” was on the rise in the United States and blamed President Trump for attacks both in the US and abroad.
“Western government has turned a blind eye to domestic terrorism, to domestic far-right terrorism,” Hasan said.
According to Hasan, not only was Trump’s rhetoric responsible for attacks in the US, he was also responsible for attacks in other countries.
Crimes against Muslim communities and people of color “are on the rise in Britain, across western Europe, United States, Canada, Australia, and now sadly New Zealand,” he said.
Trump has “normalized” Islamophobia
Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim-American civil rights group, said Trump has “normalized” Islamophobia.
“In many white supremacists’ attacks on the American-Muslim community, the attackers cite Trump and cite his policies,” Awad said at a news conference on Friday in Washington.
“I don’t think anyone of us should be surprised that what he says and what he does impacts the attitudes and actions of people, not only at home, but now abroad.”