We must confront the threat of far right extremism.
By CJ Werleman
If terrorism is defined as violence against innocent civilians designed to advance a political cause, then all racist murders that occur in the U.S. are also acts of terrorism, because the perpetrators commit the violent act to send a political message to minority communities (i.e. intimidate them into a subordinate status.)
Arun Kundani, adjunct professor at New York University and author of The Muslims are Coming: Islamophobia, Extremism, and the War on Terror, writes: “The definition of terrorism is never applied consistently, because to do so would mean the condemnatory power of the term would have to be applied to our violence as much as theirs, thereby defeating the word’s usefulness.”
Violence carried out by far Right groups or individuals, which have racism as a central component of their ideology, is of similar magnitude to that of Jihadist violence. In the years 1990 to 2010, there were 145 acts of political violence committed by the American far Right, resulting in 348 deaths. By comparison, 20 Americans were killed over the same period in acts of political violence carried out by Muslim-American civilians.
“Both categories of violence represent threats to democratic values from fellow citizens. Whereas the former uses violence to foment a change in the ethnic makeup of Western countries or to defend racial supremacy, the latter uses violence to try to intimidate Western governments into changing foreign policies. Ultimately, to be more concerned about one domestic threat of violence rather than the other implies governments and mainstream journalists consider foreign policies more sacrosanct than the security of minority citizens,” writes Kundani.
For more on Cliven Bundy the domestic terrorist, see What Bundy and Sterling Tell Us and Bundy the Conservative Racist.
For more on right-wing terrorism, see Report Documents Right-Wing Terrorism and The Logical Conclusion of Extremism.