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  • The Observer view on the Christchurch shootings: we’ve been too slow to see the far right threat| Observer editorial | Opinion

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See the news The Observer view on the Christchurch shootings: we’ve been too slow to see the far right threat| Observer editorial | Opinion from Source New York Times on 17/03/2019 has been updated to day with the theme on feedixo.

The Observer view on the Christchurch shootings: we’ve been too slow to see the far right threat| Observer editorial | Opinion

After so many attacks over so many years, we have become inured to terrorist atrocities. This in itself is a tragedy. Yet even after so much previous bloodshed in the name of hate-filled ideologies, the murder of 49 men, women and children at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday has spread shock and disgust around the globe.There is something particularly appalling about targeting people for their faith, as they engage in the act of worship.But there were other factors behind our collective outrage: recognition of the spread, power and brutality of the global far right; the evidence that it feeds off a widening Islamophobia that reaches deep into our political culture; and the demonstration of how terrorism has been made immeasurably more effective by modern technology, in this case the manner in which the attacker deployed Facebook to display his gruesome work.Expressions of solidarity and support have flooded in from all over the world. These are made in the hope that they will provide some comfort to Muslims who will be feeling even less safe after Friday’s attacks and are to be welcomed. But thoughts and prayers are not, and have never been, enough. In the weeks and months after such an atrocity – when the initial shock and grief has passed, but the extra police presence remains – we have a duty to the Muslim, Jewish and other minorities that feel under threat from far-right extremism. It is to ask a simple question: are we doing all in our power to prevent such an attack happening again?The regrettable truth is that expressing deep sympathy in the immediate aftermath of an attack comes much more easily than longer-term reflection on the role that politicians, and social and traditional media may play in creating an environment in which far-right terrorism can flourish.There can be no doubt that the west has underestimated the risk of far-right terrorism. The murder of the MP Jo Cox in 2016 left Britain numb with shock. Yet what lessons were really learned in the wake of her assassination? Since then, the far-right threat has only grown. In June 2017, one person was killed and many more injured after a man drove a van into a crowd outside Finsbury Park Mosque. There were a further 11 far-right terrorist attacks that year and yet more attacks were thwarted by police, including a plot by a member of the neo-Nazi group National Action to murder the MP Rosie Cooper. This is why the former head of counter-terrorism at the Met, Mark Rowley, has warned that the UK has not yet “woken up” to the threat posed by the far right.Britain is not alone in this: in the US, the number of far-right terrorist attacks quadrupled between 2016 and 2017. Last year, 11 people were shot while worshipping at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. Yet President Trump has slashed funding aimed at reducing domestic terrorism.There has been a tendency for our political leaders to underplay far-right violence by claiming that it is the product of isolated individuals, while seeing Muslim terrorists as linked to groups working systematically to destroy western liberal societies.One reason for this double standard may be that...

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See the news The Observer view on the Christchurch shootings: we’ve been too slow to see the far right threat| Observer editorial | Opinion from Source New York Times on 17/03/2019 has been updated to day with the theme on feedixo.