Again we see devastating headlines, with terrorism tearing through the fabric of yet another community. Fifty lives lost in the attacks by far-right extremists – self-declared ethnonationalists – on two mosques in Christchurch.
Several members of Extremely Together know first-hand what it means to live through terrorist attacks. To say our thoughts and prayers are with the families, the victims, survivors and the community affected by this heinous attack is an understatement.
So rather than thoughts and prayers, we call for action.
We call for heads of state to band together, to stand up and to underline the importance of combatting far-right extremism and terrorism. We call on them to tackle the extremism and terrorism that exists and was bred within their very own communities and cultures, the extremism that, building on a framework of ethnonationalism, racism and hatred, kill their own.
We call on the media to call this attack what it was, an act of terrorism, perpetrated by terrorists.
To Extremely Together it has always been clear; we must stand together against all forms of extremism. The path forward is unity, not the divisions and hatred that fuelled this attack and others like it.
We wish we could say that this attack came as a surprise – that it was unique – that would, however, be a lie.
This attack falls in a long line of attacks with roots on the far-right. This attack was clearly inspired by the 2011 attack in Norway which was survived by Extremely Together’s Bjørn Ihler. The terrorists in Christchurch claim to have received blessings from Breivik, the man behind the attack in Norway. Furthermore, there are references to Dylann Roof and other far-right extremists; organisations frequently referred to both by Breivik and other extremists on the far- right.
This is not a singular attack. This is not a mental illness. This is not a lone gunman. This is a pattern of acts of terrorism, making up a broader picture of a growing and violent far-right.
A pattern we take extremely seriously, and one that needs to be taken seriously by the world as we continue our global quest to counter and prevent radicalisation into violent extremism and terrorism.
Read the article ‘The Global Threat of White Terror‘ written by Extremely Together Young Leader Bjørn Ihler in response to the Christchurch attacks.