The Australian terrorist who committed the massacre at a mosque in New Zealand was calmly and even happily listening to music as he committed his crime. He was listening to a Serbian song that glorified the Serbian criminal leader Radovan Karadzic, who committed the Serbian massacres against Muslims in Bosnia. The song lyrics include, “Wolves are on the move from Krajina. Karadzic leads your Serbs; let them see they fear no one.” The song played as he live-streamed the massacre, meaning that there was an audience that was watching him and encouraging him to commit this act, and that he was communicating with someone and that he was working for them. He revealed this when he said his attack was blessed by the Knights Templar, a Christian military order formed in Europe during the Middle Ages. It took part in the Crusades in its war against the Islamic State.
The weapon used by the Australian terrorist to commit the massacre had symbols, dates and writings that show the extent of his hatred and animosity towards Muslims, as well as the existence of extremist Christian religious trends inspired by the literature from the history of the Crusades. It also indicates the existence of organisations and entities that include those extremist movements in the organisational work, such as the operations carried out by Daesh, and that there is a body that sponsors and funds them, as well as plan out their attacks. This body exploits these trends’ hatred towards Muslims and their Islamophobia. This is not a lone wolf act.
Let’s take a look at the dates and names written on the terrorist’s weapons and analyse their symbolism and significance.
- 1189: The year when the Akka siege, which lasted two years, ended with the entry of the Third Crusade into Akka and executed the entire Ayyubid garrison.
- 1683: This is the year of the major Battle of Vienna which was the second Ottoman siege on Vienna during the rule of Mehmed IV. This battle ended with the execution of the Ottoman army commander Kara Mustafa Pasha in Belgrade. Historians believe that this was the date on which the Ottoman Empire began to decline towards complete collapse.
- 732: The year of the Battle of the Court of Martyrs, or the Battle of Tours, in southern France, which stopped Islamic advancement in Europe.
- Charles Martel: French king who defeated the Andalusi Muslims in the Battle of Tours.
- Constantine II: The last Christian King of Bulgaria before the Ottomans took control of it.
- Marco Antonio Bragadin: The Venetian commander who broke the treaty with the Ottomans and killed the imprisoned Ottoman soldiers.
- John Hunyadi: A Hungarian general who fought the Ottomans during the defence of Belgrade.
- Bohemond I of Antioch: A leader of the First Crusade against Turkish Muslims.
- Skanderbeg: Albanian military commander who led a rebellion against the Ottomans.
What is notable about the names and dates mentioned above is the presence of the history of Ottoman-Christian hostility. Such hostility is mentioned in the literature and writings of extremists centuries after the Ottoman wars in Europe, through which it tried to reach the heart of the European continent.
This recollection of the history of the Crusades means that their effects still linger and are influential as an inciting force despite the passing of time and given the rise of right-wing parties in the West. This is especially true after Donald Trump was elected president of the United States and voiced his hostility towards Islam, his hatred for Muslims, and linked terrorism to Islam. We must not forget his inaugural address, in which he said, “We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones – and unite the civilised world against Radical Islamic Terrorism, which we will eradicate from the face of the Earth.” He meant he would eradicate Islam, but to soften the blow, he added the word radical. This is exactly what George W. Bush did when, after the September 11th attacks on the New York Twin Towers, he referred to the war on terror as a crusade, which he later claimed was a slip of the tongue.
The Australian murderer said that he considers US President Trump an idol, viewing him as a symbol of white identity, not as a political leader.
This popular trend is on the rise in the Western world with the rise of the phenomenon of Islamophobia, which is fuelled by the discourse of extremist right-wing parties in Europe. Such discourse explicitly incites hatred and rejection of Muslim and immigrant communities. They are reaping the fruits of their desperate fight against immigrants. Their discourse brings about ethnic and religious discrimination. It is strange that this close-minded inhumane rhetoric is being revived in the European political markets, the cradles of modernity, restoring the value of the individual, freedom, and human rights, which includes the freedom of movement around the world.
The condemnations issued by some Western leaders only throws dust in the people’s eyes and is an attempt to prove that the West is still the fortress of freedom and is against racism.
If we compare this horrific massacre, which killed 50 people and wounded over 50 more, as well as violated the sanctity of the mosque, to what happened in Paris two years ago, when six journalists working for the Charlie Hebdo magazine, which drew offensive cartoons, were killed by a Muslim, we find a huge difference in the way the West treated them.
While the world was turned upside down after the Charlie Hebdo incident and we witnessed condemnations from around the world, unprecedented media coverage of the crying and weeping of the victims, Sheikhs from all over the world rushed to condemn this crime and deem it un-Islamic, a funeral was held and attended by the leaders of the world, including Arab leaders, and everyone chanted “We are Charlie Hebdo.”
Meanwhile, in the case of the horrifying massacre at Al-Noor Mosque in New Zealand, which was described as an individual act committed by an extremist, the condemnations were timid, even from the head of the Vatican. His statement was weak and did not live up to the magnitude of the incident. As for President Trump, he merely tweeted his condolences to the people of New Zealand and did not mention the victims. In the case of the Arab leaders, they were blind, deaf, and mute. None of the issued any condemnation. How could they condemn such an act when they are doing the same to their people and committing acts of terrorism against them? I must mention that last month, at the Munich Security Conference, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi warned the Western leaders of mosques and urged them to monitor them. The Emirati foreign minister had requested the same thing before him. The blood of these victims is on the hands of the Arab leaders, who incite against Muslims in all of their speeches and use the blood of their nation to grow closer to the West. They are the spearheads of the global war waged against Islam.
The tree of terror has grown and produced terrorists who launch terror campaigns and hold revenge parties against the Muslim communities.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.