New Zealand: Women of Colour condemn Mosque Shootings

Dear friends,

We have updated our statement (sent 16 March).

Great if you can send it round your networks with Facebook event for the Vigil tonight, which we have been invited to co-host and speak at.  We will be meeting 5.30pm onwards outside News Corp, 1 London Bridge St, London. See map

Hope to see you there,

Women of Colour/Global Women Strike

“As our prayers go out to the Muslim community in New Zealand we must also recognise and tackle the relentless Islamophobia perpetrated, with impunity, by media and politicians that has fuelled the rise of violent white supremacy.”  Irfan Akhtar, Media Spokesman for Waltham Forest Council Of Mosques, 15/03/19.

There has been a worldwide outpouring of compassion for Muslim people gunned down in two mosques in Christchurch, and outrage at the cold blooded pre-planned murders of 50 people at prayers and the wounding of many others, some fighting for life.

Support is heartening and now is the time to strengthen our movements against the demonization of Muslim people by successive UK, US, Hungarian, Indian, Israeli and other governments.

We can’t forget Trump’s ban to prevent Muslims entering the US – upheld by the Supreme Court despite many strong challenges. Neither will we forget that the Tory government ran the most racist campaign against the Muslim Mayor of London, named an ‘enemy’ by the New Zealand killer. Western governments have waged successive wars (reminiscent of the Crusades), terrorising populations and devastating whole countries, while branding those of us who are Muslim as ‘terrorists’. In the UK ‘Prevent’ measures target children and fuel Islamophobia by labelling kids as young as five as ‘radicalised and dangerous’.

The corporate media and the BBC amplify every form Islamophobia by governments and the extreme right.

A record number of anti-Muslim attacks and incidents of abuse were reported in 2017, with women disproportionate targeted. Attacks rose by 26% — most occurring face-to-face (not on social media). At street level 57.5% of the victims were women.

From physical attacks on Mosques, to the outrageous revoking of Shamia Begum’s citizenship and the death of her baby which followed, politicians have fed racist and right-wing extremists, and fundamentalist leaders around the world.

Institutionalised Islamophobia is rampant and one of the most wide-spread forms of racism. It is fed by Israel’s apartheid against Palestinians who are overwhelmingly Muslim, yet this is often denied and hidden by cries of antisemitism.

It is urgent to act together to defeat racism and the extreme right. If we don’t — they will come for all antiracists, beginning with people of colour and immigrants but not ending there.

Friday 15 March 2019.
Revised 18 March 2019