Would the world media have been as forgiving if a similar attack had been carried out in Bangladesh?
There is absolutely no doubt that yesterday’s shooting at two mosques in Christchurch was anything less than a terrorist attack and, in this regard, we are glad to see New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern call a spade a spade.
Having said that, it has been disheartening to see that most of the international media took their time before identifying this attack in their headlines for what it was -- an act of terror. Many outlets still have failed to use the term.
This only goes to show the double-standard that unfortunately still prevails against Muslims all over the world, specifically when it concerns issues of terrorism. Is there any doubt that if the tables were reversed and the shooters had been Muslim that these horrific attacks would swiftly be condemned by all for the acts of terror they are?
How is it any less of a terrorist attack when the perpetrator of a deadly shooting espouses racist, xenophobic, or Islamophobic ideologies as opposed to the ideologies of an Islamist?
This sort of coverage is disingenuous at best and, frankly, bigoted and malicious at worst.
Would the world media have been as forgiving if a similar attack had been carried out in Bangladesh, putting the lives of foreign visitors at risk? We can only imagine the reaction if something like this had occurred in Bangladesh or any other Muslim-majority country while a foreign sports team were visiting.
The imbalance and double-standards are amplified by the lax security provided to the Bangladesh cricket team while they were on their way to the mosque. It was a matter of pure luck that the Tigers escaped the line of fire.
The world needs to take notice. The time has come to move beyond out-dated ideas as to which countries are safe and which are unsafe, and to grapple with the reality of the danger posed to the world by radical right-wing white supremacist terrorists.