Monday, May 27, 2019
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Trump again punishes white supremacy after New Zealand attacks

His response to the New Zealand massacre of 49 people who were killed in an attack on two mosques also raises new questions about his attitude to Islam after having a long history of anti-Muslim rhetoric – and about it, To what extent has the president done so a responsibility to moderate his language in the face of the rise of the white supremacy movements around the world.

On Twitter and in comments in the Oval Office Trump clearly condemned the murders. However, he has not conveyed to US Muslims a message of empathy and support that may feel frightened as security in the US mosques increases.

"I spoke to New Zealand Prime Minister Ardern to express the grief of all our people after the monstrous terrorist attacks in two mosques," Trump said Friday afternoon at the Oval Office after condemning the attack as "a horrible massacre in the mosques." on twitter.

"These holy places of worship have been made the scene of evil," said the president. "We all saw what was going on, it's a terrible, terrible thing."

When asked if he saw a worrying rise in white supremacy around the world, Trump did not say. He accused a small group of people "with very, very serious problems". He also told reporters that he did not see the manifest through a social media account that is believed to belong to an attacker who mentioned Trump by name and saw him as a symbol of a renewed white identity.

While the president did not contact Muslims around the world, his daughter offered the kind of language that could be expected of a more conventional commander-in-chief.

"We gather in New Zealand and in Muslim communities around the world to condemn this evil as we pray and grieve for the families of each victim,"Ivanka Trump tweeted on Friday morning.

The White House spokeswoman, Sarah Sanders, called the Christchurch killings a "vicious attack on hatred," though she did not specifically mention that the attack was against Muslims.

Trump's failure to point out more that the worshipers who died in Christchurch were Muslims represents a double standard, as he has attributed significantly more religious motives to other murders.

Last year, following an attack on a Jewish temple in Pittsburgh, Trump spoke of an "anti-Semitic" motive of the attack that itself sparked a debate over its seditious rhetoric was to blame for an increase in hate crimes.
When 28 Coptic Christians died in suicide bombers in April 2017 in Egypt, the president insulted the "merciless slaughter of Christians" and warned that the "bloodshed of Christians" must come to an end.
As a candidate Trump demanded the "complete and complete closure of Muslims" in the United States. Eventually, as president, he was able to use executive power to ban travel by citizens from seven nations, including five Muslims, to the United States.

Trump has often gone fast when a Muslim extremist was the culprit of an attack and Muslims are not victims, or when he uses such attacks to promote his political arguments.

"Incompetent Hillary wants the borders to be weak and open despite the terrible attack in Brussels today – and to let the Muslims in. By no means!" Trump, for example, tweeted in March 2016.

And when he ran for office, he regarded the Democrats as dishonest about the motivation of Muslim extremists who carried out terrorist attacks.

"These are radical Islamic terrorists, and they will not mention the word, not even President Obama," Trump said in a presidential debate, referring to Hillary Clinton. "To solve a problem, you have to be able to say the problem, or at least name it."

Indifference to white nationalism

Trump has often been accused of using rhetoric that encourages extremists and makes his goals dehumanizing. He used vulgar language to criticize NFL stars who had a knee during the national anthem. When he announced his campaign, he said that Mexico would send "rapists" across the border to the United States. On Friday, he warned at the same event, in which he lamented the attack in New Zealand, against "invasions" of undocumented migrants crossing the southern border.

And on Friday it was not the first time that Trump wanted to downplay the threat of white nationalism.

The question of whether the rhetoric of the president has encouraged the white Supremacist broke out in 2017 for a multi-day controversy when he said that there were "very beautiful people" on both sides after white nationalist protesters met with protests in Charlottesville, Virginia ,
Trump's moral leadership also came into question when he first became confused after being approved in white supremacist David Duke's election campaign in 2016.

The comment by the President on Friday that white nationalism was not a growing problem was in contrast to the vehemence with which other leaders of the world had reacted and their clear condemnation of white supremacist rhetoric and ideology.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said there was no place in society for "the vile ideology that drives hatred and fear."

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison condemned a "violent right-wing terrorist attack".

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the alleged perpetrator of the attack had "extremist views that have absolutely no place in New Zealand and really no place in the world".

In a tweet posted before Trump's comments in the Oval Office, former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden – a potential White House candidate in 2020 – seemed to have Trump in mind.

"Whether it's anti-Semitism in Pittsburgh, racism in Charlottesville or xenophobia and Islamophobia in Christchurch today, violent hatred is on the rise both at home and abroad, and we can not see mosques turn into murder scenes," Biden tweeted.

"Silence is complicity," he added. "Our children are listening, the time to talk is now."

Texas Democrat Joaquin Castro condemned Trump for what he called extremist rhetoric.

"It comes at a cost, and the cost is part of what we've seen today, there are people who are unstable, who are inspired and take action," Castro told Wolf Blitzer in The Situation Room ".

Mercedes Schlapp, Director of Strategic Communications at the White House, told reporters on Friday that it was "outrageous" to make that connection between this confused individual who committed this vicious crime to the President, who has repeatedly condemned bigotry, racism.

Trump's rejection of the notion that white nationalism is on the rise, contradicted the warnings of his own government and was a typical example of ignoring statistics that did not fit his political arguments.

In a news bulletin received by Foreign Policy magazine in May 2017, the FBI and the Homeland Security Department warned of "deadly acts of violence" by extremist white Suprematist groups.

Trump's point of view Nor does it take into account the rise of white nationalist groups in politics in Europe, which has experienced major marches in some cities.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, 71% of extremism-related deaths in the United States between 2008 and 2017 were committed by right-wing assailants.

CNN's Ross Levitt contributed to this story.

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