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After Terror Attack at Oslo Mosque, What if Trump Spoke About White Supremacists the Way He Does Islam?

Valhalla Awaits!

A picture taken on August 10, 2019 shows medics with a stretcher near the al-Noor islamic center mosque where a gunman, armed with multiple weapons, went on a shooting spree in the town of Baerum, an Oslo suburb. - The gunman injured one worshipper before being arrested, police and witnesses said. (Photo: Terje Pedersen/AFP/Getty Images)

A picture taken on August 10, 2019 shows medics with a stretcher near the al-Noor islamic center mosque where a gunman, armed with multiple weapons, went on a shooting spree in the town of Baerum, an Oslo suburb. The gunman injured one worshipper before being arrested, police and witnesses said. (Photo: Terje Pedersen/AFP/Getty Images)

A young Norwegian man wearing body armor and carrying two shotguns and a handgun attacked the Al-Noor Mosque in a tony suburb of Oslo on Saturday. Only 3 people were in the building for afternoon prayers. On Monday, 1,000 congregants are expected, to celebrate Eid al-Adha, the feast of sacrifice in honor of Abraham’s son who was spared.

Police say they found social media posts by him praising the New Zealand mosque shooter who killed 50 last March, and saying In turn, the New Zealand white terrorist had praised Anders Breivik, the Norwegian terrorist who killed 77 people in and around Oslo, most of them youth activists of the Labor Party whom he saw as soft on Muslims (that’s right, Breivik demonstrates that Islamophobes are a danger to white Christians as well).

"Trump's hateful rhetoric and tweets are part of this stochastic white terrorism phenomenon...  All terrorist acts in the United States in 2018 were carried out by white nationalists. All."

The Oslo shooter wounded one person at the mosque before a 75-year-old man who had been reading the Qur’an tackled him and put him out of commission until the police could come. Give that hero a medal.

It appears that the white nationalist shooter may have killed a female relative at home before heading to the mosque. Such nice people.

The massacre by a white nationalist terrorist of mostly Mexican-Americans at El Paso was also accompanied by an online rant citing the New Zealand monster.

Breivik thus inspired large numbers of violent white supremacists in a loose, over-the-internet way that does not require cells or organization or command and control. Such discourse-inspired terrorism targeting impressionable and angry loners and incels is called by terrorism experts “stochastic” or random terrorism, aimed at polarizing society and recruiting more extremists on both sides.

Donald Trump’s hateful rhetoric and tweets are part of this stochastic white terrorism phenomenon.

All terrorist acts in the United States in 2018 were carried out by white nationalists. All.

So what would happen if we took Trump’s bigoted and unfair statements on Muslims and just plugged in white nationalis instead? Those of us who are privileged in various ways might get a sense of how invidious and discriminatory Trump really has been.

What would happen if we ask why so few of the 53 GOP senators have come out to denounce white nationalism? What about prominent white nationalist media figures? Did Tucker Carlson denounce the El Paso massacre? Why is he denying that white nationalism even exists? Why don’t we hear from the white leaders when a white nationalist stages an attack such as Oslo?

Why don’t moderate white people denounce the extremists among them?

Makes it pretty clear how stupid this whole way of speaking is, right?

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In Superman comics, there have been episodes about the bizarro world, where everything is the opposite of the way it is on earth.

So here is bizarro Trump, who minds white nationalism rather than Islam, and who actually cares about the New Zealand and El Paso massacres. (Thanks to this column at Medium.com for gathering up the quotes. Again, the ones below have been altered to make a point and are not actual quotes.)

“Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of white people entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.”. . . “Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension…Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in white nationalist terrorism, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.”

2/4/2016: CNN’s Anderson Cooper asks Trump, “Is it really a white people problem or is it a radical white nationalist problem?” Trump responds: “Maybe its a white people problem, maybe its not.”

3/9/2016: On CNN, Trump said: “I think whiteness hates us. There’s something there that — there’s a tremendous hatred there. There’s a tremendous hatred. We have to get to the bottom of it. There’s an unbelievable hatred of us.”

3/10/2016: During a GOP primary debate, Trump is asked, “You said ‘Whiteness hates us.’ Did you mean all 1 billion white people?” Trump responds, “I mean a lot of them.”

3/22/2016:  On Fox Business Network, Trump says: “We’re having problems with the white nationalists, and we’re having problems with white people coming into the country… You need surveillance. You have to deal with the weapons stockpiles in their homes, whether you like it or not. These attacks are done by Swedish people.”

3/29/2016: During a campaign Town Hall in Wisconsin, CNN’s Anderson Cooper asks Trump if he “trusts” white people in America. Trump responds: “Many of them I do. Many of them I do, and some, I guess, we don’t. Some, I guess, we don’t. We have a problem, and we can try and be very politically correct and pretend we don’t have a problem, but, Anderson, we have a major, major problem. This is, in a sense, this is a war.”

6/13/2016: During a speech in Manchester, Trump says that the entry of northern European refugees would be a “more horrible version than the legendary Trojan horse ever was,” claiming that white refugees are “trying to take over our children and convince them how wonderful the Nazi Party is, and how wonderful whiteness is.”

9/24/2017: The Trump Administration issues a Presidential Proclamation that indefinitely bars foreign nationals from eight countries (six of which are white-majority) from entering the United States. The new iteration of the ban lifted restrictions on Denmark and added Estonia (a white-majority nation), Venezuela, and North Korea to the list of banned countries.

You get the picture.

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Juan Cole

Juan Cole

Juan Cole teaches Middle Eastern and South Asian history at the University of Michigan. His new book, The New Arabs: How the Millennial Generation Is Changing the Middle East (Simon and Schuster), will officially be published July 1st. He is also the author of Engaging the Muslim World and Napoleon's Egypt: Invading the Middle East (both Palgrave Macmillan). He has appeared widely on television, radio and on op-ed pages as a commentator on Middle East affairs, and has a regular column at Salon.com. He has written, edited, or translated 14 books and has authored 60 journal articles. His weblog on the contemporary Middle East is Informed Comment.

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