New Zealand's terrorist attacks signal a new era. It is either going to be a clash of civilizations as Samuel Huntington put it years ago, or state of peace where we live together and build a more cosmopolitan world with no boundaries. Far-right movements and politicians are forcing the first option. But there are plenty of politicians of integrity and goodwill like Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister of New Zealand who give us hope that an integrated multicultural world is still possible.
The attack on two separate mosques in one of the most secure places in the world, New Zealand, where 50 people were massacred and dozens wounded was a great shock for the world. Unfortunately, we have witnessed an increase in anti-Muslim sentiment and radicalization since 9/11 but this attack showed how random violence can be and how easy death can come. It is one of the most barbaric attacks in modern history and is perpetuated solely on the basis of hatred toward an identity: Muslim.
As President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan emphasized in his recent op-ed in The Washington Post, we should see that the New Zealand terrorist as a reflection of Daesh terrorists. They are the same, their motivations don't differ and they kill to create a homogeneous world in their sick minds, just as the Nazis did in World War II.
However, how come the Western media does not approach the New Zealand terrorist the same way they approach Daesh? Why dear readers, is it so difficult to call this barbaric terrorist by its correct name: TERRORIST? Why does the Western media repeat the same biases against Muslims? Is it not obvious that this kind of approach creates deeper antagonism and polarization?
The historical references scrawled on the murder weapons and the manifesto that the terrorist published online show that he is not alone. There are ultra-nationalist and fascist groups whose aim is genocide. They want to see the extinction of all Muslims in the world. Does this not seem familiar? Is that not what Daesh aims for as well? The New Zealand terrorist wants the extinction of Muslims and Daesh wants the extinction of all non-Muslims. So they are carbon copies of each other.
If world leaders want a sincere battle against this extremism they should start to accept the fact and face the prejudices of the Western world. We, who aim for peace and a world where everyone can live in harmony with their differences should become more united. Because there is a strong will to divide the world into war zones. Radicalism is on the rise on both sides. The best remedy against it is emphasizing liberal values, freedom and democracy. Only liberal democracy can save the world from becoming a more horrifying place.