The Great Replacement Theory: Christchurch and Buffalo Shooting

By: Abdullah Abdeen

  • | Monday, 23 May, 2022
The Great Replacement Theory: Christchurch and Buffalo Shooting

 From Christchurch in New Zealand to Buffalo in the USA: How Does the Great Replacement Theory influence Young White Superamicist? 

   Three years ago, two consecutive mass shooting attacks took place on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand and resulted in the death of fifty people. These mass shootings came at a time when New Zealand had rarely been associated with far-right extremism. However, experts warned that extremism has been growing in New Zealand and the warning signs of an attack have been apparent. This brutal attack was carried out by a white Australian man called Brenton Tarrant, aged 28 years old at the time of the shootings. Having been arrested, the police found a 74-page manifesto entitled The Great Replacement, a reference to the "Great Replacement" and "white genocide" conspiracy theories.
On May 14th, 2022, another mass shooting took place in Buffalo, New York, at a Tops Friendly Markets store, a supermarket in the Kingsley neighborhood on the eastern side of the city. This attack resulted in the death of ten people and the injury of others. The shooter live streamed the attack on Twitch. The accused, identified as 18-year-old Payton S. Gendron, is reported to have shared a manifesto, describing himself as a white supremacist and voicing support for the far-right "Great Replacement" conspiracy theory. 
In this context it is important to note that there are several points of similarity between the two cases. This is due to the fact that the two perpetrators were greatly influenced by the “Great Replacement Theory” disseminated by the French author Renaud Camus. According to our analysis, this theory is based on the idea of the "white race" supremacy and the necessity to maintain it.
 In addition, it focuses on the principle that the migration of Muslims to European and Western countries represents a "genocide against the white race" which could eventually lead to the undermining the power of many countries, and the destruction of their societies, values and peoples. 
This theory also inevitably entails labeling immigrants and Muslims as "invaders" whose existence in Western societies will not be at peace. Therefore, such attacks must be carried out in order to spread terror among those "invaders" and ultimately reduce immigration rates to Europe or reduce the number of Muslims living in these countries. Furthermore, the theory is originally derived from the idea that diversity represents a sign of weakness not strength, at all, for any country, and that countries promoting diversity, around the globe, are dominated by social, political, religious, and ethnic conflicts.
Extremism among Western people, according to the theory, is viewed as a logical response to the decadence they are experiencing due to the immigrant and Muslim invasion of their land. Therefore, the theory stresses that the polarization of Western youth is inevitable in order to combat this state of degradation, and that action of violent extremists are the only response to combating this "genocide".
According to this theory, the integration of immigrants into a culture other than their own is absolutely impossible, and pluralism contradicts equality, as it is impossible for two different things to be equal. There is no genuine equality between people of different races, and each person has a different value set. 
On its part, Al-Azhar Observatory for Combating Extremism warns that this extremist group is an imminent threat to Europe, the West, and the whole world. Therefore, it must be immediately confronted. While terrorist groups, such as ISIS and its affiliates, target civilians on the basis of their religion, far right extremists and white superamicists target people on the basis of their color and race. In addition, as we labeled ISIS and its affiliates as terrorists, the same title must also be given to Barnett and Gendron as the former killed people in the name of their religion and belief while the latter killed people in the name of their race and color. 


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