September 23, 2009 Special Dispatch No. 2534

'Al-Sharq Al-Awsat' Editor: Bin Laden, Holocaust Museum Shooter Driven By Same Hatred

September 23, 2009
Special Dispatch No. 2534

Following the June 10, 2009 shooting at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed, editor of the London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, wrote an editorial titled "Crime at the Holocaust Museum." In the editorial, which was published June 15, 2009, Al-Rashed stated that anti-black racism was the same as anti-white racism, said that Osama bin Laden and the museum shooter were driven by the same hatred, and faults the U.S. for allowing such hatred to proliferate by protecting freedom of speech.

The following is the editorial, in the original English.[1]

"The Anti-Muslims Are The Same as the Anti-Semites; Those Who Are Racist Against Blacks Are The Same as Those Who Are Racist Against Whites"

"The body count may not have been large, it was an individual attack, and no organization has claimed responsibility for it. One victim was killed, while the perpetrator ended up in hospital awaiting trial on charges of murder, simply because the [U.S. political] system does not punish hatred or racism. This is just one more racially motivated crime in a multi-ethnic society where cultures are beginning to compete.

"The paradox is that this crime took place at a museum that deals with the history of the Holocaust – a story of racism that many reject, not because it did not occur, but because it is part of an ongoing ideological conflict. Evidence of this is that Holocaust deniers publicly call for getting rid of other ethnic groups and promote white European supremacy.

"The perpetrator of the crime has all the qualities that contradict the stereotypical definition of a racist; he is 88 years old, white – the most privileged racial group of all – and lives in an economically rich country. If one has these characteristics and lives in a country that allows freedom of expression and the right to [political] objection via elections, why would anyone need to take a gun to a museum and kill an African-American guard in order to express their hatred of the Jews?

"This is proof that hatred has nothing to do with poverty, literacy, political suppression, religion, or even youth; rather, it is tied to culture. This must be understood by those attempting to play down the security threat, as well as those who are searching for scapegoats in Islamic books and Muslim society. It is not difficult to find evidence to implicate the wrong people, which is what happened [initially] with regards to the Holocaust Museum shooting.

"The anti-Muslims are the same as the anti-Semites; those who are racist against blacks are the same as those who are racist against whites. They are all alike."

"Why Does a Young Millionaire Like Osama Bin Laden End Up Fighting Others?... This Is the Same Hatred That Made a White Christian American Head To a Museum" to Commit Murder

"Do not underestimate the power of culture, especially the power of the culture of hatred, and the influence that this can have on an individual. Why does a young millionaire like Osama bin Laden end up fighting others? What transforms an intellectual physician like [Al-Qaeda deputy leader] Ayman Al-Zawahiri into a killer on the basis of religious identity?

"This is the same hatred that made a white Christian American head to a museum with the intention of carrying out an act of premeditated murder in order to express his opinions. Hatred has the capacity to destroy the desire for respect and dialogue; it has the capacity to destroy the desire for coexistence."

"How Can We Fight Hatred When Its Sources Are Being Protected [By The Political System]?"

"According to statistics, the number of websites belonging to racist white supremacist groups has increased by the thousands. This is not because the situation on the ground has worsened, but because the means for spreading racism has become cheaper and more readily available. These websites are full of incitement against Muslims, blacks, and Jews, and are full of myths about Islamic conspiracies to occupy the U.S., or Jewish conspiracies to control the U.S. central bank, and so on.

"These groups operate in the open under the protection of the U.S. [political] system that allows this culture [of hatred] to spread in the name of protecting civil liberties afforded by the U.S. constitution. At the same time, the U.S. government travels around the world and urges others to fight against this same culture of hatred [that it protects].

"In fact, much of the racist literature found on extremist Islamic websites comes from white neo-Nazi websites that have fabricated much of their information. How can we fight hatred when its sources are being protected [by the political system]?"


[1] The text has been lightly edited for clarity.

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