White Supremacist Extremism: How Racial Prejudice Fuels Terrorism

By Mohamed Ali El-Kazzaz

  • | Monday, 29 May, 2023
White Supremacist Extremism: How Racial Prejudice Fuels Terrorism

     This article investigates white supremacist extremism, and offers an analysis of the ideologies, conduct, and impact of white supremacists. It also explores the links between these ideologies and terrorism, and the dangers they pose to societies, providing instances of violent acts by white supremacists to underscore the gravity of the matter at hand. Furthermore, the article proposes solutions for combating white supremacist extremism, with the aim of fostering inclusivity, diversity, and equality and preventing the proliferation of hate and prejudice.

White supremacy is a belief system that promotes the idea that white people are superior to people of other races, and that they should have power and dominance over others. White supremacists believe that white people are biologically and intellectually superior to people of other races, and they often use this belief to justify discrimination, violence, and other forms of oppression against non-white individuals. This supremacist ideology has a long history in many parts of the world, and it continues to be a significant problem in many societies today.

White supremacists hold a range of beliefs, but there are some common threads that run through many of their ideologies. Here are some of the most frequently shared convictions among white supremacists:

  1. Inherent superiority of the white race: White supremacists believe that white people are biologically and intellectually superior to people of other races.
  2. Non-white people are a threat to white people: White supremacists often view non-white people as a threat to white people through immigration, intermarriage, or other means.
  3. Maintaining white dominance: White supremacists advocate for white people to have power and control over society, and that they should use this power to maintain their dominance over people of other races.
  4. Maintaining racial purity: White supremacists often believe that it is important to maintain the purity of the white race by preventing interracial marriage and other forms of racial mixing.

White supremacist groups exist in many parts of the world, and they often operate under different names and ideologies. Here are some examples of notable white supremacist groups from around the world:

  • The National Front (now, The National Rally) (France): The National Front is a far-right political party in France that has been associated with white nationalist and anti-immigrant views.
  • Golden Dawn (Greece): Golden Dawn is a neo-fascist political party in Greece that has been linked to violence against immigrants and left-wing activists.
  • The British National Party (UK): The British National Party is a far-right political party in the United Kingdom that espouses white nationalist and anti-immigrant views.
  • The Nordic Resistance Movement (Scandinavia): The Nordic Resistance Movement is a white supremacist group that operates in several Scandinavian countries. It has been linked to acts of violence and terrorism.
  • The Australian Coalition of Nationalists (Australia): The Australian Coalition of Nationalists is a far-right group that promotes white nationalist and anti-immigrant views.
  • The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) (United States): The KKK is one of the oldest and most well-known white supremacist groups in the US. Founded in the aftermath of the Civil War, the KKK has a long history of violence and discrimination against African Americans, Jews, and other groups.
  • The Proud Boys (United States): The Proud Boys is a far-right group that has been associated with white nationalism and has been involved in violent clashes with counter-protesters at public events.

It is important to recognize that the views and conduct of these groups are harmful and discriminatory, hindering efforts to promote tolerance, diversity, and equality for all individuals, regardless of their race or ethnicity.



White Supremacy and Violence

An article by Politico, published on September 4, 2020, reports that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the United States identified white supremacists as the most serious domestic terror threat facing the country. According to the article, the DHS has warned that white supremacists pose a significant threat of violence, and that they are responsible for the most lethal attacks among domestic terrorists in recent years. The article also highlights concerns about the role of social media in spreading extremist ideology and the need for law enforcement to better address the threat of white supremacist violence.

Another report by the Council on Foreign Relations, published on February 26, 2020, discusses the emerging threats of domestic terrorism and white supremacy in the United States. The article highlights that white supremacist violence is on the rise and that it poses a significant threat to national security. The report also notes that the current political and social climate in the United States has contributed to the growth of white supremacist groups and that law enforcement agencies need to better address the threat. The report concludes by examining potential solutions, such as better intelligence gathering, increased public awareness, and improved coordination between law enforcement agencies at the federal, state, and local levels.

While not all white supremacists are necessarily extremists, many white supremacists do hold radical views and are willing to use violence to achieve their goals. Sadly, there have been many incidents of violence committed by individuals or groups espousing white supremacist beliefs. Here are some examples of high-profile incidents:

  • The Charleston church shooting in 2015: A white supremacist opened fire during a prayer service at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, killing nine people.
  • The Charlottesville rally in 2017: A white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, turned deadly when a man drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one person and injuring several others.
  • The Tree of Life synagogue shooting in 2018: A white supremacist killed 11 people and injured six others in a shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
  • The Christchurch mosque shootings in 2019: A white supremacist killed 51 people and injured 49 others in a mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
  • The El Paso shooting in 2019: A white supremacist killed 23 people and injured 23 others in a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. The shooter later told investigators that he was targeting "Mexicans."

What these incidents have in common is that they were all carried out by individuals who held white supremacist beliefs. Those individuals were motivated by a sense of hatred and a desire to harm people whom they perceived as being different from themselves, whether based on race, religion, or ethnicity. These incidents highlight the danger posed by white supremacist ideologies and the need to address and combat hate speech and discrimination they exercise. It is important to recognize the impact of these incidents and work towards creating a more just and inclusive society where everyone can live without identity-driven fear of violence or discrimination . Here are some potential solutions to address white supremacist extremism:

  • Law enforcement: Law enforcement agencies can play a critical role in disrupting white supremacist networks by investigating and prosecuting individuals who engage in extremist activities. This can include monitoring social media and online forums where white supremacists communicate and coordinate, and using undercover operations to identify and disrupt extremist activities. The idea of an international, harmonized legislative framework to address white supremacist threats deserves some serious thought. Since white supremacist activities can transcend national borders, a coordinated global response may prove more effective than relying solely on individual efforts within each country. However, establishing such common legislation would necessitate substantial coordination and consensus building among nations.
  • Community engagement: Building strong relationships between law enforcement agencies and local communities can help disrupt white supremacist networks by providing information and support to law enforcement agencies, and by building trust and cooperation between law enforcement agencies and local communities.
  • Education and awareness: Educating the public about the dangers of white supremacist extremism and the ways in which it can be disrupted may well help prevent individuals from becoming involved in extremist activities. This can include public awareness campaigns, community forums and discussions, and school-based education programs.
  • Countering extremist propaganda: White supremacist networks often use propaganda and messaging to recruit new members and spread their ideology. Countering this propaganda with alternative messages that promote tolerance, diversity, and equality can help to disrupt white supremacist networks and prevent individuals from being radicalized.
  • Supporting victims of extremism: Providing support and resources to individuals and communities impacted by white supremacist violence and extremism can help undermine these networks by offering an alternative to extremist ideologies. This can include counseling, legal support, and community-based programs that promote healing and resilience.

In conclusion, white supremacist extremism is a disturbing and dangerous phenomenon that poses a significant threat to individuals, communities, and society as a whole. It is rooted in a belief system that promotes racial superiority and discrimination against non-white people. This ideology has led to numerous instances of violence and terrorism, resulting in tragic loss of life and injury. To combat this threat, it is important to take a multi-faceted approach that involves law enforcement, community engagement, education, and support for victims. By working together, we can prevent and respond to acts of violence and extremism, promote a culture of non-violence and respect for human rights, and build a more just and equitable society for all people. By standing up against hate and bigotry in all its forms, we can create a world where every individual is valued and respected, regardless of their race, ethnicity, or other factors.

Combating skin color-based bigotry is in line with the Islamic teachings that explicitly reject racism and discrimination based on race, ethnicity, or other factors. The Quran emphasizes the equality of all human beings in the eyes of God, with the only distinction between individuals being their level of righteousness and good deeds. Likewise, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) asserted in his Farwell Sermon that no race or ethnicity holds superiority over another, and that piety and good deeds are the only factors that differentiate individuals.

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